Tag Archives: Crescent Support Group

Awards & Fashion Shows – Moving forward to World Aids Day !

Hi all,

Sorry it has been a while since we updated our blog ! Such a busy few weeks since our last update and it is hard to believe that we are only about 8 weeks away from Christmas ! We had an amazing open day with the official presentation of our Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service at the end of September, an amazing achievement ! Some of the news articles here;

http://www.hemeltoday.co.uk/news/royal-recognition-for-hiv-support-work-1-7632539

The Queen recognises HIV voluntary support group

http://www.watfordobserver.co.uk/stalbans/14786863.Charity_receives_highest_award_from_Queen/?ref=twtrec

http://www.stalbansreview.co.uk/news/14786863.Charity_receives_highest_award_from_Queen/

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We are extremely pleased to have received this award, which is the equivalent of an MBE for voluntary organisations in the UK and the highest award an organisation can achieve! More information on the Queen’s Award can be found here; https://www.gov.uk/queens-award-for-voluntary-service/overview

During October another fashion show was held by the lovely people at Chloe James Lifestyle for our benefit. The event too place on the 13th October at the Cote Brasserie in St Albans High Street, and raised over £1000 for us, a truly impressive amount! Big thanks to all who attended the evening. We are very grateful for the continued support from Chloe James who have organised and held many of these events for us. Now that Christmas is looming take a look around their store at 12 the High Street St Albans. It is packed with lovely gifts, clothes, jewellery and gorgeous things for your home too. Take a look !  http://chloejameslifestyle.co.uk/

fashion-show-16Chloe James

Moving on to World Aids Day (01 December)we will be holding another of our “Busking Days” on Saturday 03 December at the Clock Tower in St Albans. A free event for all, do come along to find out more about our work and enjoy the talents of the numerous local musicians who will be donating their time on the day. The event is scheduled to start at 11am. Watch this space for details of those to perform on the day, always a very popular event !

Denise Parsons Volunteer 3Nick Stephenson 2Alison Raymond Tom Craven 2

We will also be holding a mini display of the “Stand Tall” photographic exhibition featuring pictures of individuals living with HIV along with a short description of their journey since diagnosis. The event will be in Luton on 30th November 2 to 4pm at the UK Centre for Carnival Arts 3 St Mary’s Road Luton LU1 3JA and is part of a day of celebrations, raising awareness of HIV in the community.

STGS Poster 3maurice-sizedmatt-011_sizedSTGS Poster 2

 

We are immensely grateful as ever for all the support we have received again this year, without your kind assistance we cannot do what we do for some of the most vulnerable in our society so a huge thank you to you too.

Keep watching this space !

The Crescent Team

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More events coming up this month and next as we move towards World Aids Day

Dear all,

Apologies for the delay in updating the blog, things have been very busy of late. We have a number of exciting events coming up in the next few months.

First is a charity cake baking competition with the wonderful Bakehouse St Albans as part of the Harpenden and St Albans Food festival this month. Are you the next budding amateur baker in the district? Think you bake the chocolatiest chocolate cake in the city? The best biscuits in town? If so, why not enter for your chance to be one of 20 bakers competing each day.

See the Bakehouse website for more details and an application form http://www.localbakehouse.co.uk/bakeoff/4590388035 Each day from the 27th of September a charity will be the nominated recipient of funds raised at the event as cakes submitted will be sold after the judging process with proceeds going to the charity of the day. We will be taking part on the 29th of September so grab that self raising flour and whisk up a marvel for us if you can !

On the 14th of October there will be another fashion show with the fabulous Chloe James Lifestyle store at the Cote Brasserie in the High Street in St Albans from 7.30pm. Tickets will be on sale shortly from Chloe James store at 12 The High Street 01727 843431 http://chloejameslifestyle.co.uk/ or email enquiries@chloejameslifestyle.co.uk Always a very popular event !

On the 5th of December we will be having another busking day and awareness event for World Aids Day. This will be at the clock tower in St Albans High Street as before, A free event for all. A full running list of performers will follow shortly but do make time to come along on the day if you can. More details will be published as we finalise the running order but we expect that the event will run from 11am to around 4pm. If you would like to help out on the day with collections or information distribution please do let us know on 01727 842532 or email info@thecrescent.org.uk.

We are also pleased to see that Barnet Council are now offering a postal HIV testing service very similar to ours, it is a pity that Herts County Council won’t fund this here, and makes it all the more imperative that we raise funds to keep going. Please if you can come along to any of the events in the next few months we would be very grateful. Without your support and generosity we cannot do what we do!

As ever thanks for your support

The Crescent Team

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HYPE – Group for 16-25 year olds

Hi all.

Another new service from the Crescent for young people – HYPE!

Follow us on twitter @hypecsg or email hype@thecrescent.org.uk for more details. A group for and by people aged 16 – 25 living with or affected by HIV, meet friends and socialise, get support and advice too, keep watching this blog for more details coming very soon, first event will be on 20th June from 2.30 at the Crescent in St Albans.

Looking forward to seeing you there

The Crescent Team

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Testing Article in the Herts Advertiser

Dear all,

Another article in the Herts Advertiser about HIV testing and diagnosis rates, see here for more http://www.hertsad.co.uk/news/st_albans_charity_urges_more_people_to_test_for_hiv_1_3988780

Also in the Watford Observer letters page last week talking about the chronic late diagnosis rates that affect west Herts…

Despite asking Herts County Council for funding for testing services for at least the last three years, they have refused to act… We introduced a postal testing service last year that the county council are still thinking about, and that the National Aids Trust recommend… Public Health Minister Jane Ellison announced that the Government is about to introduce a nationwide HIV home sampling service, just like the one we have in place already…

Public Health Minister Jane Ellison said in a news article this week: “We have protected the entire £2.45 million national HIV prevention budget, and have announced the first national home sampling service which will triple the number of sampling kits available.

Article about HIV funding is here

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2015/03/13/hiv-charities-deeply-concerned-over-allocation-of-hiv-prevention-budget/

So it seems that although we may be a bit low on funds at times it hasn’t stopped us introducing such initiatives, imagine what we could achieve if our funding was reinstated….

Strangely, despite the prevalence rates in west Herts being the highest, and the late diagnosis rates also being the same, way above national average, the County Council’s preferred HIV testing service have introduced a 2 hour testing service on a Saturday.. on the opposite side of the County, in Ware, where both rates are much lower… Whilst we welcome any attempts to encourage people to test regularly for HIV surely this would be better held in high prevalence areas, where late diagnosis rates are some 25% above the national average? just a thought…

Thanks for your support as ever

The Crescent Team

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Our Trustee Rachel Gets Press Coverage In the Daily Mail and Sun Newspapers

Dear all,

More coverage this week in both the Daily Mail and The Sun Newspapers with our Trustee the lovely Rachel talking about life with HIV.

Links below, please feel free to share !

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2979005/Three-HIV-positive-women-share-incredible-stories-living-disease-no-longer-death-sentence.html

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/woman/health/health/6352785/Were-happy-and-healthy-women-despite-having-HIV.html?CMP=spklr-153174873-Editorial-TWITTER-TheSunNewspaper-20150303-Real%20life

Don’t forget if you are concerned about HIV you can get advice from the Crescent, plus a free home sampling HIV testing kit, just email testing@thecrescent.org.uk call 01727 842532 or call in to our drop in anytime to collect a kit.

Thanks for your support as ever

The Crescent Team

“Living with HIV? Call in to our drop in any day, or join us for lunch on a Tuesday from 12.30 each week, or for our Sunday Lunch which we hold once a month, next on 12th April, then 03 May and 07 June, more details on our website http://www.thecrescent.org.uk

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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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Our Latest News Letter & Other News !

Hi all,

It’s been a while since we updated our blog, apologies to all those who have been missing our updates. Suffice to say lots going on as ever, have restarted our testing services with a postal self sampling HIV testing kit (currently the only service outside London to do so)

This enables the individual to take a very small sample of blood at home or on our premises (similar to a diabetic blood sugar test) post the sample to the lab who then relay the result to us to deliver to you by an appropriate method. Entirely free and convenient and the test is more accurate than the current Insti testing systems as the sample is tested in a laboratory. Also the window period is shorter at 28 days too. This means a shorter wait from possible exposure to being able to test.

More info on this can be found on our website on the testing page http://www.thecrescent.org.uk/index.php/testing/ or by emailing testing@thecrescent.org.uk where you can also request a kit to be sent to you. Alternatively just call in to the Crescent where you can pick up a test kit at any time we are open.

We will shortly also be restarting our instant result testing service too, keep watching this space !

In other news we had amazing feedback from our Stand Tall Get Snapped Exhibition at the Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban during the World Aids Day period in December 2014. So many people left messages of support and encouragement in the visitors book during the fortnight and the Cathedral observed that it was perhaps the best exhibition they had hosted in the ten years, high praise indeed !

A copy of our latest newsletter can be found on our website at http://www.thecrescent.org.uk/index.php/news/newsletters/ too

Loads more events coming up, including a concert, an open day, another busking event and more ! Keep watching this space… Sunday Lunches are the first Sunday of every month and our weekly Tuesday lunches continue as ever, more details on our website at http://www.thecrescent.org.uk/index.php/events/

Thanks again for all your support, once again we struggle for funds this year as ever but with your help we are sure we will still be here this time next year ! If you would like to make a donation at anytime please visit our website http://www.thecrescent.org.uk/index.php/donate/ where you can find info on how to do so online, by text, post or whilst you shop too !

Best wishes

The Crescent Team

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