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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com.
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
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
BBC and ITV news yesterday covered the launch of a pilot postal HIV testing service for residents in Birmingham in “At Risk” communities only.
The Crescent is very pleased to see that others are now providing this service and wish the team at HIVTestUK.com and Birmingham Heartlands HIV Service the very best in their endeavours to combat the late diagnosis issues in the Birmingham area. You can read more about the pilot here https://www.hivtestuk.com/hivtestuk-pilot-project-launches-in-birmingham/
We hope that Hertfordshire County Council takes note and implements quickly a similar programme to address the late diagnosis rates in Hertfordshire, particularly in West Herts, where rates are well above national average. Hertfordshire’s Director of Public Health Mr McManus, coincidentally was also a joint Director of Public Health in Birmingham, and so we hope he will follow the direction they have taken without further delay.
We have been raising this issue for some two years, appealing to Mr McManus and Teresa Heritage, Herts County Council Cabinet member for Localism and Health, for funding for our postal service, but without success. Perhaps now there will be a change of direction, we certainly hope so!
Our postal service is not restricted to at risk groups and is free for all residents of Hertfordshire and beyond. It is quick, totally confidential, and very easy to do, we will support you throughout the process too. If you don’t want to test by post we do of course offer onsite instant result HIV testing by appointment.
Contact us on Testing@thecrescent.org.uk, visit our website http://www.thecrescent.org.uk or call us on 01727 842532 to order a kit or find out more about the service.
The Crescent Team
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
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
Latest news !! You can now get a free home sampling HIV test kit from the Crescent by post ! Visit the website http://www.thecrescent.org.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!
With this kit you can take the test at your convenience, post the sample to the laboratory, the Crescent will deliver your results to you between 24 – 48 hours (from receipt of your sample at the lab). If the result indicates that you may have HIV a confirmatory test is necessary at the Watford Sexual Health Centre (or another if you prefer). We will support you throughout the process of course.
If you would like to take the test at our centre in St Albans this can be arranged with appropriate support throughout the process as you require.
This is a free service and completely confidential. If you would like to know more about the service please do feel free to email or call us. You can also pick up a kit from our centre in Russell Avenue St Albans if you wish.
Now there really is an easy way to check your HIV status !
The Crescent Team