Plus Health provides online peer support for people living with or affected by HIV throughout the UK. I launched the online peer support service in July 2018 which was made possible due to the generous donations received through the GoFundMe campaign I ran last year.
HIV continues to be a highly stigmatised health condition and there have been so many cuts to services that provide support for people living with HIV and their partners, close family and friends. Peer support is recognised as a valuable service by our specialist clinic teams. Sadly not everyone has access to such services.
In the last year I have delivered 335 hours of online peer support, and answered 162 email questions. The demand for peer support continues to grow which is why I am launching this fundraising campaign.Donations from GoFundMe totalled £2000 last year, with 56p in every pound donated was used to deliver peer support, which is the main focus of Plus Health. We spent a further 13p in every pound on our website and volunteers who provide such fantastic support.
Plus Health is a completely voluntary project; don't receive any funding other than through your generous donations. During the last year our small team volunteered over 1000 hours. Much of this was to develop the website - over 600 hours in design and content writing which has been an incredible achievement for everyone involved.
I estimate that in cash terms the small team of volunteers have donated around £30,000 to Plus Health. My role as founder and peer mentor is a voluntary role, which I thoroughly enjoy as I'm passionate about supporting others living with HIV.
As a community project Plus Health is now at the stage where it needs to expand and develop. I am currently working with and seeking potential partners in the charitable sector as well as a couple of NHS Trusts to identify how online peer support can help deliver better support and care to everyone who is living with HIV.
In order to develop Plus Health our structure needs to evolve. I am in the process of registering Plus Health as a Community Interest Company (CIC) which will provide the legal structure so the work we do can be scaled up and sustained well into the future.
Any finally the work never stops............ over the summer months I have been working on developing a new section for the website. Initially the scope of this work was limited to a single page about living well with HIV. This piece of work has grown in it's scope and in the next few days I will be launching a new Wellbeing section, which comprises of 7 different pages focusing on healthcare, emotional wellbeing, sexual and reproductive health, nutrition, diet and exercise. Images from our Plus Wellbeing Section - watch this space for more information......................
I am really pleased to include information about the reproductive health for trans women and men who are living with HIV. There is a complete lack of inclusive information for trans people living with HIV and I hope to further build upon this in the future.
It's been a fantastic year and this has all been made possible by the generous donations of those who support the work I do. Please help me to continue the work I do, and make a small donation to this fundraising campaign. Every penny counts and will ensure people living with or affected with HIV have the opportunity to access peer support, regardless of where they live in the UK.
Thank you for your support!