Millivres Prowler Group (MPG), one of the largest gay businesses in Europe, has launched a strategic partnership with charities linked to the gay community.

In a new partnership which demonstrates an ongoing commitment to the community, the retail and media divisions of MPG are devoting special focus months to raise awareness of and fundraising for AVERT, The Food Chain, GMFA, National AIDS Trust, PACE and Positive East.

Simon Topham, managing director of MPG, said: “Millivres Prowler Group was born out of the gay liberation movement in the 70s and played a major role in raising awareness of HIV in the 80s and 90s. Our company has strong community bonds and we are keen to strengthen these even further. In the past we have been a principal donor to and sponsor of Stonewall, in addition to being a regular media sponsor and supporter of arts-based and Pride events”.

Focus months will comprise special fund-raising activities within the Prowler and Expectations stores, editorial and advertising features within GT (and in some cases DIVA), in addition to a range of other projects designed to raise the profile of all partners concerned. The schedule of the focus months is as follows:

August – Positive East

September – GMFA

October – The Food Chain

November – AVERT

December – National AIDS Trust

February – PACE

Mark Santos, chief executive of Positive East, said: “Positive East is at the heart of the community of East London so to partner with a company with equally strong community bonds is just the perfect match for us. And it’s not just about money. A strong partnership has to benefit both organisations so we are delighted to be able to provide free HIV testing in Expectations. Can I thank MPG and say how very much we are looking forward to working together.”

Matthew Hodson, chief Executive of GMFA, added: “Each year thousands of UK gay men of all ages hear the devastating news that they have contracted HIV. Despite welcome improvements in the treatment of HIV there is no cure and living with the virus presents ongoing emotional and physical challenges.

“We’re thrilled to be working with MPG on this new initiative. Together we will raise awareness of the particular challenges of HIV in the 21st century and involve gay men in the delivery of new, frank and innovative campaigns to prevent new infections, improve gay men’s health and reduce the harms associated with HIV.”