East London HIV charity awarded £111k funding for specialist advice worker

London’s largest HIV charity has been awarded a £111,900 grant to fund a Specialist Advice Worker for three years.

City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, awarded the money to Positive East, which has 26 years’ experience of helping people affected by HIV, for the full-time post.

The Specialist Advice Worker will work alongside two other colleagues to support the delivery of the charity’s Advice Service for HIV positive people.

Positive East has been on the forefront of HIV service and care for over 26 years, supporting people from point of HIV diagnosis to longer term care.

Alison Gowman, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust Committee, said:

“City Bridge Trust exists to support disadvantaged Londoners from all backgrounds, so Positive East’s outstanding work with HIV positive people is typical of the work that we take pride in funding.

“This grant will benefit Positive East’s work in helping link people into its peer support, counselling, well-being workshops, and support groups.”

Mark Santos, Director Positive East, said:

“We are absolutely delighted to receive this support. It will help us to improve the lives of so many people.

“Welfare reform is having a negative impact on the health and well-being of people living with HIV.

“This grant will enable us to continue to provide high quality advice, casework and advocacy helping people living with HIV to gain and sustain their independence.”

Case study from Positive East:

“J is a 46-year-old HIV+ man who presented to us as homeless, having lost his job and gone through the breakdown of his marriage. J was feeling isolated and both his mental and physical health were poor and deteriorating. He had stopped taking his HIV medication as he said that he “wanted to die as I see no point in living this miserable life”. When J accessed our Advice Service, he had no money and he had heard nothing from an application submitted 3 months ago for benefits. The Advice Service actioned a hardship award through our Hardship Fund and a food parcel. The Service supported him to apply as homeless while we advocated to the DWP. Our advocacy ensured his benefits were reinstated which included arrears enabling him to put down a deposit to secure a flat. We linked him with one of our Peer Support workers and a counsellor and through this work we got him to engage with his HIV clinic and re-start his medication. J is in a much better place, has secured stable housing and is now making plans to return to work.”

City Bridge Trust is London’s biggest independent grant giver, making grants of £20 million a year to tackle disadvantage and inequality across the capital. The Trust has awarded around 7,700 grants totalling over £370 million since it first began in 1995. It helps achieve the City of London Corporation’s aim of changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of Londoners.


Notes to editors

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK.

Media enquiries:

Kristina Drake

Media Officer

City of London Corporation

07710 860884 / 020 7332 1125