Stigma and discrimination related to HIV infection leads to isolation for many people living with HIV, and as people grow older, this isolation can become exacerbated. Social isolation is often linked with a lack of motivation to look after one’s health and a poor diet.
We aim to combat isolation amongst people living with HIV in London, by bringing people together to enjoy meeting new people and good conversation over a hot, nourishing meal. As well as improving over-all health through better nutrition, we also aim to increase our guests’ confidence and independence by offering the opportunity to meet new people, share experiences and learn more about healthy eating and other relevant topics. On Wednesdays we have speakers from other organisations to talk about how they can provide help and support in different ways, teach new skills, or share personal experiences. On Saturdays our volunteer nutritionists and dietitians (all AfN or BDA registered) lead a nutrition discussion, based on a different topic each week.
To access this service you need to be referred to us by one of our registered referrers. Most HIV clinics in London have one registered referrer, as well as several other charitable HIV organisations such as the Terence Higgins Trust, Positively UK, Positive East and Body and Soul, amongst others.
The lunch is FREE, and if you bring an Oyster card top-up receipt before 11.45pm we will refund your Oyster PAYG travel costs to and from your home address.
No, this service is just for you. However, if you are feeling nervous and would like to bring a partner or friend for your first week you can call us on 0207 843 1800 to arrange this.
Your membership will last for 3 months. On your first visit you will be given a membership card which will show your first name, the date you first came, and the membership end date. After that, you can come on as few or as many Wednesdays and Saturdays as you like until the 3 month period shown on your membership card finishes. There is no need to choose between Wednesdays and Saturdays, you can come to both.
You will get a text message the day before to remind you. If you know that you will not be able to attend for a few weeks due to a prior arrangement, or you go away for a while, please let us know by calling 0207 843 1800 and we will be able to pause your membership. If you do not tell us that you are going away we will not automatically pause your membership, and you will not be able to reclaim unattended lunches at a later date.
There are always three options for lunch, including a vegetarian option to make sure there is something for everyone.
Yes, we need volunteers for Wednesdays and Saturdays in the kitchen and hosting. If you are a new volunteer sign-up using the application form. If you already volunteer please email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out what training you need.
To access The Food Chain’s services, you must be referred.