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February 2016: Help us make an impact

This month we have joined with our colleagues across the HIV charity sector in a campaign to raise awareness of the cuts to HIV support services that are being experienced all over the UK.

The more people who join the campaign, the greater the possibility that we will get a meeting with the Secretary of State for Health and be able to put the case for sustaining vital, life-saving services for vulnerable people living with HIV. In some parts of the country the local authorities are intending to cut their HIV support services completely from April 2016. We know from our daily work at The Food Chain that the people referred to us are in the greatest of need and they require essential help and support not just around food and nutrition support but also in relation to physical and mental health, income, housing issues and a range of complex issues that have contributed to the current crisis in their lives. 

We can be pleased that the majority of HIV+ people in the UK have good health, and live long lives but we must never forget or neglect the people who don’t.

HIV support services are not a luxury for them, but an essential lifeline. Please do join the campaign and help make a difference.

The funding climate being what it is, we need to raise money in every way we can think of to sustain our services. Such times call for extreme measures – so much so that I’ve signed up to run the Hackney Half marathon as part of The Food Chain Team! This is quite a few miles to contemplate, but I feel it’s worth every inch if it helps us bring in some funding. My training is going OK so far (I’m up to 7 miles) so all being well it will be alright on the day. And at least Hackney is my home borough so I won’t have far to hobble home! Every penny donated will be well spent, so please show your support for our splendid team of volunteers, staff and trustees if you can. It’s going to be a great effort all round!

This month’s recipe from Nourish is the delicious Ethiopian Chicken Tagine with cous cous. This berbere sauce is a very nice mix of spices, with a little bit of heat. Just right after a long run on a cold day!