Brighton-based HIV charity the Sussex Beacon has launched a series of community and fundraising activities, commemorating 30 years since the foundation stone was laid at its main centre.
The Sussex Beacon was established in 1992, in response to a major need from the Brighton and greater Sussex communities, during the AIDS pandemic of the 1980s and ’90s. Although the nature of care and support required has changed over the years, including people ageing with HIV, the charity stresses that the need to provide support to people living with HIV remains as vital as ever.
Originally functioning as a hospice to care for people at the end of their lives, the Sussex Beacon has seen its role change to now being a place where those living with HIV come to receive support to regain their sense of independence and to improve their health & wellbeing, via both inpatient and community resources.
Bill Puddicombe, Executive Director of the Sussex Beacon said: “So many services like the Sussex Beacon have gone in the last 10 years, largely due to cuts in public funding. We are proud that we have been able to continue our model of care, combining inpatient and community services, demonstrating a range of services that are very much in demand by people living with HIV.
“As a result of our work across Sussex, particularly Brighton & Hove and surrounding areas, the Sussex Beacon has become a much loved and respected part of the community. Our fundraising team have commented how members of the public often approach them at events, relating anecdotes and situations where the Beacon has helped loved ones in the past. These are very personal, sometimes very emotional stories, which remind us just how valued the Sussex Beacon actually is”.
A community hub in its own right, the Sussex Beacon’s St James’s Street shop now features a major in-store display, highlighting 30 years of memorabilia. Containing original plans, photos, newsletters dating as far back as 1992, members of the public are invited to leave messages on a special noticeboard. This will enable previous service users, their family and friends and supporters to relate their own stories and memories of the Sussex Beacon. If you have your own stories/photos you’d like to share, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
As part of the celebrations, the Sussex Beacon has produced an exclusive limited edition 30th Anniversary pin badge that customers will receive when spending £30 or more within their shops (St James’s Street or London Road).
With demands for its services as great as ever, the Sussex Beacon is inviting all individuals, supporters, and businesses within Brighton to join them in celebrating their 30th Anniversary throughout the year, so that they can continue to raise much needed funds, assisting their essential work with people living with HIV.
For more info on the Sussex Beacon, CLICK HERE