London: Funding boost for older people living with HIV
Terrence Higgins Trust has received £200,000 to support 250 older people living with HIV in London, as the over-50s continue to be the fastest-growing group of people living with HIV in the UK.
The money is delivered as part of the Big Lottery Fund’s Silver Dreams programme, being run in association with the Daily Mail, to benefit causes which help older people.
The award is designed to help over-50s living with HIV in London to cope financially, to become active citizens and to manage life changing events.
As part of the project, one of four selected for funding, older people will be trained as volunteers to support other older people, offering help and information about accessing services including social activity groups and advocacy.
Lisa Power, Policy Director at THT, said: “Improvements in medical treatments have given people with HIV a longer life than they ever expected. We know that a lot of people with HIV didn’t plan for older age and need help to manage on a low income.
“Many are also socially isolated because of the stigma of HIV. Through this project, we will provide money management advice and get people involved in volunteering and other social activities, giving them the tools to make that new lease of life a healthier, happier and more secure one.”
Alison Rowe, Big Lottery Fund London Head of Region said: “Last October we set the challenge to organisations in England to develop innovative projects that would recognise the positive contribution older people make to society today whilst also supporting them through life changes. I’m delighted that four London projects have risen to the challenge to share a slice of Silver Dreams Lottery funding announced today.”
Bel Mooney, Daily Mail writer and advice columnist, said as part of the judging panel distributing the £546,000 fund she was “amazed and impressed by the wealth of energy now being directed towards the needs of older people and made possible by the Big Lottery Fund. These matters are close to the Daily Mail’s heart, since our Dignity For the Elderly campaign is always on-going and we believe that a healthy society respects its older members, acknowledging our debt and committing ourselves to taking care of their needs”.