Tag Archives: Free HIV Testing

Crescent Open Day & Queen’s Award For Voluntary Service 25 September 2016

Dear all,

Sorry it has been so long since we updated our blog, so much has been happening it has been hard to keep everything updated. If you were worried we may have gone away then fear not we are here !

An amazing parachute jump by our Mayor Salih and Trustee Denise, another of our successful busking days and numerous lunches and social events have all taken place in the last three months!

Coming up this month we are looking forward to our open day and garden party on 25 September.

The day will follow the same format as previous years with live music from local bands, tea, cake and other lovely refreshments plus beer, wine and cider. It will give you a chance to ask questions, talk to staff, see our premises in Russell Avenue and find out more about our work in the community.

Free entry as usual (although donations are always welcome of course) starting at 2pm on Sunday 25 September, all are welcome of course so please do call in to see us.

We are also honoured earlier this year to have been awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (one of only three organisations in Hertfordshire to receive the award from her Majesty) The award is the highest a charity can achieve in the UK and is the MBE for Voluntary Organisations.

As part of the open day proceedings we will be officially presented with the award certificate signed by Her Majesty and the engraved crystal trophy by Her Majesty’s representatives.

It promises to be a great day so please do come along ! Once we have a complete list of acts performing we will update you so keep watching this space.

Thanks as ever for your support,

The Crescent Team

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Busking Day and into 2016

Hi all,

A busy time since December apologies for the delay in updating our blog!

Our World Aids Day exhibition of the Stand Tall Get Snapped Project in Luton at the Carnival Arts Centre was very well received indeed and we look forward to exhibiting this in other locations throughout 2016.

Our busking day in December raising awareness of HIV in the community and raising funds went exceptionally well with well almost £1500 raised. Thank you to everyone who helped with the event and of course to the wonderfully talented local musicians who donated their time and talent to make the event such a success yet again.

There will be another of these popular events coming up in the spring so keep watching this space for more details. We will have another open day during the summer and a concert plus a quiz so lots to look forward to.

Our creative writing course has got off to a good start and continues this year every two weeks, after the Tuesday lunch group, until the end of March. Details here: Write It Out at the Crescent

Regular events such as the Sunday Lunch continue with the first lunch on 24 January and then the last Sunday of every month thereafter. In addition our Tuesday lunch continues every week from 12.30.

This year we are continuing with our daily open access drop in service for advice, information, free condoms (by post or collect in person), emotional and practical support, bi monthly complementary therapy sessions, young persons group and free postal HIV testing services for all. Twice weekly counselling sessions are available (with appointments available on Tuesday evenings also) Regular outreach and training work is planned and there are more awareness events coming up.

Plenty to do, we cannot rest on our laurels as late diagnosis of HIV continues to be a problem in west Hertfordshire, most notably Hemel Hempstead and Watford areas in particular where rates continue to be well above national average.

We can’t do what we do without your help so thank you for helping  and supporting us in 2015, and we wish you all a happy healthy and prosperous 2016.

Keep watching this space for further updates and news of our next events.

The Crescent Team

 

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Lots of Coverage for National HIV Testing Week

We were very pleased to be invited to talk on two radio programmes last week.

Firstly we got to talk to the lovely Danny Smith at Radio Verulam on his show West Herts Drivetime about HIV and Stigma in light of the recent coverage about Charlie Sheen revealing his HIV Status.

You can listen again to the show here, from 38 minutes and 22 seconds;

http://listenagain.radioverulam.com/node/19066

Then on Sunday we were talking on BBC 3 Counties radio on the programme “ShrinkWrapped”with our member Blessing talking again about Late Diagnosis, Stigma, Testing, living with HIV and Charlie Sheen.

You can listen again to the show here, from 30 minutes and 22seconds

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03765lc

More on our Busking Day Fundraiser on 05 December and our mini exhibition of the “Stand Tall Get Snapped Project” for World Aids Day coming up…

Thanks as ever for your support, without your kindness and generosity we couldn’t do what we do!

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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The Crescent is NOT Happy With Herts County Council !

Dear all,

Our latest article in the Herts Advertiser about postal testing services, available elsewhere in the country and being trialled in Birmingham and Luton amongst just two places. We have been appealing to the County Council for two years or more to introduce this, and /or fund our testing services. As there was no sign of any action from the County Council we introduced this ourselves (without funding) a year ago. We could no longer stand by whilst the late diagnosis problem exists (and grows in Hertfordshire) and those responsible for addressing the issue continue to sit on their hands.

We fail to understand why the County’s preferred supplier of services, Herts Aid, (who have ten times our income by the way) have not also introduced this kind of postal service as an alternative method of testing.

Public Health England is asking local authorities to introduce as many different methods for testing as possible, with an emphasis on more local community based testing services and postal testing too.

Herts County Council have made a good deal of noise recently about their commitment to “HalveIT” the national campaign to reduce late diagnosis of HIV, (something they until recently denied was an issue in Herts). However they still fail to put anything in place, or fund services like ours that are well established in the community and are based in the areas most affected (St Albans, Hemel Hempstead, Watford and Rickmansworth for example)

It seems to us to be yet another example of the County Council saying the right thing, but again dragging their heels, perhaps hoping the focus will move on whilst they deliberate and then plans will be quietly shelved.

We deserve better than this as a County, it is after all the “County of Opportunity” apparently. However if you want to test for HIV, protect your health, and that of others, your opportunities are somewhat limited.

Come on Herts County Council, put your money where your mouth is ! Hertfordshire residents deserve so much better, the tests cost very little and certainly not as much as was apparently provided to an agency to “improve their brand image ” recently, (with seemingly little result).

Time to divert some funds to resolve a real health issue instead !

Link to the Herts Advertiser article here

http://www.hertsad.co.uk/news/st_albans_hiv_charity_offers_revolutionary_at_home_test_1_4175358

Please do feel free to contact your County Councillor, your MP, The Director of Public Health, Jim McManus, or the Cabinet member for Localism and Health, Teresa Heritage to insist on a fair deal for Hertfordshire residents!

The Crescent Team

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Open Day A Huge Success !

Hey everyone,

Sorry there has been a delay in updating our blog, so much going on very little time to talk about it ! Our 2nd open day was again a great success! Lots of cake baked by our lovely volunteers and supporters, great music from local bands who all donated their time and talent, fantastic atmosphere and a super sunny day, perfect ! Thank you to all that came along, bought raffle tickets (prize winners ticket numbers are on our face book site) donated, and found out more about our work and HIV.

Huge thanks also to all the many local businesses that supported the event and donated prizes for the raffle too. Chloe James Lifestyle, Heartwood Candles, Dylans at the Kings Arms, The Meating Room, I am Cocoa, Smokehouse Deli, Empire Records, Paul Eccentric, Starseedz, Gavin Murtagh, Vanessa, and many more, including Pasante Healthcare who helped sponsor the event and launch of our testing services.

We were thrilled that The Right Worshipful the Mayor of St Albans City and District, Councillor Salih Gaygusuz took so much time out of his busy schedule to attend the event and also his amazing efforts selling raffle tickets! We raised a very healthy sum which will help us keep providing services for those in need. In particular it will go towards funding our instant result HIV  and postal testing services, email testing@thecrescent.org.uk or call 01727 842532 for more details.

We look forward to welcoming you all again next year, and don’t forget our next event, a busking day, is on the 15th August at the Clock Tower in St Albans City Centre from 10.30 am. Look forward to seeing you there.

Thanks again for all your wonderful support as ever

The Crescent Team

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Instant Result and Home Sampling Testing Service

See here for details of our instant result and postal home sampling HIV testing services – another free service from the Crescent. Email testing@thecrescent.org.uk or see http://www.thecrescent.org.uk/index.php/testing/appointments/ for more details or make an appointment.

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