A grant by the Rainbow Fund has enabled Lunch Positive to continue its well-received work providing a popular weekly lunch club for people with HIV, serving healthy food and offering a community space for people to meet up and make new friends.
The funding was made possible by Brighton Pride from the revenue raised through its scheme to donate £1 per ticket sold for the event last year.
The grant from the Rainbow Fund has enabled Lunch Positive to provide 52 weekly Friday lunch club sessions and to help build a community space where people are highly supportive of each other. They have been able to provide a regular healthy lunch to everyone who comes along, many of whom struggle financially or find themselves in unforeseen difficulty.
An average of 54 people used the service at each session during 2013-14. They’ve also been able to involve 29 people in volunteering, without which their service could not be provided.
Funding towards the volunteer programme meant that a total of around 5,000 hours were given by volunteers. The volunteer team has grown to be one which is skilled, and both supportive of people who come to the lunch club, and each other.
- Gary Pargeter from Lunch Positive said: “Despite improvements in HIV treatments, living with HIV can still be very isolating and a difficult life challenge. Many people still have poorer health, poorer mental health and are fearful of stigma. People tell us that at the lunch club ‘they can be themselves without fear of rejection’ and that ‘it’s like a family I don’t have’. We often hear that ‘it’s alifeline’. We’re seeing an ongoing increase of people joining the service and coming along each week. Many people who come along have recently moved to the locality and tell us ‘nothing like this exists where they have come from’ Something we should be proud of providing here in Brighton & Hove.
“The Rainbow Fund has been a lifeline to our organisation, and without this we would not be here right now. The Rainbow Fund grant has made an essential difference to our work. Smaller organisations like Lunch Positive rely on this type of funding and the Rainbow Fund has been pivotal in helping us to provide and develop our service.”
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