Category Archives: People to Contact

The Crescent on BBC 3 Counties with Jim McManus DPH at Herts County Council

Dear all,

We were on BBC 3 counties Friday afternoon with the Director of Public Health at Herts County Council talking about HIV testing, why the County Council wont fund the Crescent and also why Herts Aid don’t provide the service either, despite a huge amount of funding.

You can listen again here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02x6f74 we are on from 2hrs 20 mins the Roberto Perone Show 31st July on BBC 3 Counties Radio.

As you will hear the Director of Public Health is very reluctant to commit to anything, wouldn’t answer the presenter’s questions about why Herts Aid don’t provide the service, nor why he wont fund us. He seemed more interested in suggesting the Crescent didn’t understand the issues…

We will leave you to decide why Herts County Council refuse to fund us despite Public Health England asking for more community based testing…

The Crescent Team

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National Aids Trust Press Release on Late Diagnosis in Hertfordshire

Hi all,

Below is a press release from the National Aids Trust asking Hertfordshire County Council to tackle the chronically high levels of late diagnosis in the County. Some areas have rates of over 25% above the national average, with the majority of these being in the west of the County.

We feel this is proof that the current countywide service is concentrating far too much effort in the East and North and not enough in the West. Figures published by Public Health England show that late diagnosis rates in Three Rivers, 67% Watford 52% St Albans 53% Dacorum 60% whereas North Herts is just 35%…

We really feel it is time Herts County Council and the Herts Valley Clinical Commissioning Group reinstated funding for our testing service that they decommissioned 4 years ago. Please feel free to write/email/tweet your County Councillor and MP asking that this be made a priority!

See a copy of the press release below..

Click Here Hertfordshire – Late Diagnosis rates above national average

Don’t forget if you think you may have been exposed to HIV or haven’t ever tested then you can do so using one of our postal testing kits. The service is entirely free and confidential, you can test at home or at our premises, collect a kit from us or ask for one to be posted to you. the results will be delivered to us after you have posted your sample. Please see our website http://www.thecrescent.org.uk or email testing@thecrescent.org.uk for more details.

Thanks for your support as ever

The Crescent team

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Links To Useful Info On HIV In The UK And Worldwide

Here are a series of links to info on HIV in the UK, USA and the rest of the world.

http://www.healthline.com/health/hiv-aids/facts-statistics-infographic

http://www.nat.org.uk/default.aspx

http://www.hivaware.org.uk/

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/HIV/Pages/Symptomspg.aspx

http://www.aidsmap.com/

http://www.tht.org.uk/

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Outstanding Support For Our Quiz Night Fundraiser Last Week.

Hi All,

A HUGE thank you to all those who participated, donated or otherwise supported our Quiz Night on Friday last week. The event was a resounding success with far more people arriving than expected ! We had to put out more tables and rearrange seating to get people in!

The quiz was compiled, and hosted with great skill by our patron CJ de Mooi who is donating a percentage of the sales of his book, “How to Win TV Quiz Shows”, to us. A link to the book can be found here http://www.demooi.co.uk/book.html

Amazing to have so much local support, we raised thousands on the night itself, with more donations coming in this week too. This will help us keep providing essential services for the people living with HIV in Hertfordshire and beyond.

Keep watching this space for more information on our next event, which will feature a book launch by another of our patrons, James Wharton, whose excellent book “out in the Army” is released next month (June). Here is an extract from Amazon describing the book..

“Out in the Army follows the extraordinary career journey of James Wharton, one of the first ‘out’ soldiers in the armed forces as he becomes a man, joins the Army and learns to deal with his sexuality in a sometimes hostile environment prior to coming to terms with it and, in turn, helping the army itself come to terms with homosexuality. Wharton’s experiences in the army form the bedrock to this astonishing tale, from serving in Southern Iraq and with Prince Harry in Canada, to being hospitalized in a homophobic beating, to helping at the 7/7 bombings and serving at the Royal Wedding. His story is told right up until the point where he leaves the army in 2013 after a ten year commitment. The Army is certainly a different place now to when James signed up and there s no question that he s helped change opinions and make life easier for gay service people in the future. James was the first openly gay person to appear on the front cover of Soldier magazine, the British Army’s official publication. By being one of the first highly visible out soldier James has helped the armed services to begin to address its institutionalized homophobia.”

Link here to the publisher https://www.bitebackpublishing.com/search/james%20wharton

Thanks again for your wonderful support, look forward to seeing you at the next event,

With best wishes

The Crescent team

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Stand Tall Get Snapped Project Launches In November

Hi All,

The long awaited opening of the Stand Tall Get Snapped Project approaches. Please see the posters below for more details on this amazing exhibition featuring PLWHIV talking about their journey since diagnosis. It features the photographs and stories of 30 HIV positive individuals from all walks of life, ethnic origin, orientation, gender, age, UK location, and so on. 

 

30 participants were chosen to commemorate the number of years since the first official recognition of the HIV epidemic, and the death of Terrence Higgins in 1982 whose friends went on to form the Terrence Higgins Trust (THT).

The aim of the project is to demonstrate that HIV can affect anyone, and dispel the myth that it is just an issue on the whole for gay men or people of Black African origin.

This exhibition is an important step in removing the stigma that surrounds HIV and a move forwards for those who still live with the condition in silence, and, in many cases, fear.

Please do come along to find out more about this groundbreaking work, find out more about HIV and those living with the virus. By seeing the exhibition, and hearing the stories of those affected, we can together begin to eradicate the stigma that so unfairly blights the lives of those living with HIV and help educate all on the risks and how to avoid the virus.

The Crescent is proud to be participating in this very worthwhile project. We look forward to seeing you there!

Best wishes

The Crescent Team

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BBC3 Counties Broadcasts Yesterday 18/09 Breakfast Show

Hi all,

Link to yesterday’s coverage below of the save the crescent story on BBC3 Counties Radio, including interviews with service users and John Sessions, from 6.45 am, (42mins 29 secs ) plus coverage at every news bulletin on the half hour and hour, (from 1hr 30 mins 10 secs) all the way to midday, and an interview with the Crescent Manager just before 8 am (at 1hr 54 mins and 50 seconds).

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00xrn89

More to come, keep watching..thanks for staying with us, we won’t give up…

Best wishes

The Crescent Team

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The Pink Paper Publishes Article On HIV Funding Featuring The Crescent

Hi all,

Please see today’s article in the Pink Paper illustrating our funding cuts and warning this will soon be nationwide, a very worrying time for all. Link to the article here;  http://news.pinkpaper.com/NewsStory/7616/6/08/2012/council-cuts-hiv-and-aids-funding-to-prop-up-other-services-says-campaigner.aspx

Please write to your MP to complain, protect your local services, soon this will be affecting everyone, and not just those living with HIV. Soon any service that is not a vote winner will most likley be facing cuts when funding moves to local authorities next April. Don’t let that happen, complain now !

For those unable to access the Pink Paper article please see below;

Council cuts HIV and Aids funding to ‘prop up other services’ says campaigner

Funding allocated for Aids and HIV support is being diverted to other services, claim the supporters of the threatened Crescent centre in St Albans, Herts.

Harriet P Evans

news.PinkPaper.com
Tuesday, 7 August 2012
6 August 2012
Funding allocated for Aids and HIV support is being diverted to other services, claim the supporters of the threatened Crescent HIV and Aids support centre in St Albans, Herts.
Hertfordshire County Council has been accused of making cuts from HIV and Aids support funding to put into other areas of social care. But the situation is unlikely to be unique.
An independent review by the National Aids Trust in 2009 highlighted the importance of the Aids Support Grant made by the government to local authorities to fund local services. NAT warned that services may be threatened unless the ASG was “ring-fenced”, preventing the money from being diverted into other services.
The ASG is set to increase year-on year for the next two years, following a campaign led by NAT in 2010 to ensure sufficient resources.
However, June 2010 saw the removal of ASG ring-fencing, effectively ending the requirement that this money only had to be spent on HIV social care. A report by NAT earlier this year showed that that number of local councils spending all the money allocated for HIV and AIDS support directly on social care for people with Aids and HIV had dropped from 86% in 2008, to 61% following across-the-board cuts to health services. The Crescent’s Project Manager Iain Murtagh says he believes the removal of ring-fencing is allowing money to be taken away from supporting the needs of people living with HIV: “Using the money that the NAT fought to increase, [the council] is now taking that money to prop up other services.”
In a Hertfordshire County Council meeting on 17 July, Executive Panel Member Cllr C B Wyatt-Lowe responded to a question about the situation of HIV and AIDS support funding in the county: “We cannot afford to fund multiple charities to provide the same service as this would mean decreasing the amount we spend in other vital areas, such as support for people with learning difficulties, people with dementia, and recovery services for people with mental health problems – all residents equally as vulnerable as those suffering with HIV.”
The situation in Hertfordshire is a local reflection of a national problem, according to Mr Murtagh: “We are, effectively, a litmus test for what will happen next year when things move to public health. Political influence will mean unpopular services will be cut if it is felt to be a vote loser, or to preserve services that are more ‘acceptable’. This will mean those living with all sorts of issues will be at risk.”
The Crescent in Hertfordshire was told in January 2011 that their contract would not be renewed in spite of an earlier agreement that if the centre could make savings on its spending, it would be funded.
The Crescent has had no funding since June, and is currently surviving thanks to its volunteers. Fundraising efforts have been backed by gay actor and former St Albans resident John Sessions. Despite this, the centre is still struggling.
Mr Murtagh said: “We are in a terrible situation. The 300 people we support will effectively have nowhere to go if we close.”
The contract for Aids and HIV support in Hertfordshire has been awarded to Herts Aid in Ware, east Hertfordshire. But in a large county, with public transport issues affecting movement between distant town centres, Mr Murtagh is concerned that the Crescent’s clients will be disadvantaged by the shift in resources: “The west has the majority of people living with HIV, and it has the poorest transport.”
The Crescent continues to fight its closure and challenge the council on its decision withdraw its funding.

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     Thanks for your ongoing support,

The Crescent Team

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