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World AIDS Day 2016

Much of my time this month has been spent helping prepare for the Aids Memorial Quilt event that our charity partnership is organising at St Paul’s Cathedral and 12 other venues across London on the 3rd and 4th December.

As with all events, there is a lot of detail to work out – transport, leaflets, meetings, publicity, press and so on, and it is a whirl of activity for a team of many dedicated people drawn from all the charities involved.  

Amidst this bustle of activity I have also had welcome moments of quiet and reflection. The Quilt panels have now been moved out of storage and are being looked after at Positive East before they make their journeys to the venues where they will be displayed. One of our tasks has been to take new photographs of the panels for use in publicity materials, so I spent time doing that last week.

It was a moving and humbling experience to spend time with the Quilt panels. Together they create a beautiful piece of art, and they resonate with love and remembrance.

The Quilt may be made up of fabrics and ephemera, but they are full of life. They are vibrant and celebratory, creative and diverse. They evoke both happy and sad memories of people I knew, and they vividly portray the lives of so many named and unnamed people. If you get an opportunity to visit one of the venues on the Quilt Trail I think you will find it very worthwhile. In the words of  Dr Gill Brigg, one of the Quilt makers who will be at St Paul's Cathedral for the event, "Seeing the panel in the iconic setting of St Paul's will be magnificent, Vaughan would be very proud. It will be a very emotional day".  

If you would like to know more about the work of the UK AIDS Quilt Conservation Partnership or support our work please do get in touch.

We have also been preparing our Food Chain activities for World AIDS Day, and hope very much that you will join us in raising awareness of HIV and the work of the charity. Whether helping with fundraising collections or attending the supper in our kitchen, any contribution you can make will, as always be appreciated. World AIDS Day is our opportunity to take a pause, reflect a little, and remind the world that HIV is still with us. Our collective response today is as necessary and important as it has been from day one.

Thank you for your help.