Community News

Lunch Positive receives Queens Award for Volunteering

Graham Robson June 2, 2022

Brighton-based HIV charity Lunch Positive has received The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service; the highest award a local voluntary group can receive in the UK, which is equivalent to an MBE.

Lunch Positive is a community-based HIV charity that does big work with impact in Brighton & Hove, and in Sussex. Now running for 13 years, it provides an HIV lunch club and friendship groups, HIV food bank, befriending, outreach and wellbeing programmes.

Importantly, the work undertaken is provided by volunteers who are themselves people living with HIV, and their allies. It is an entirely unique service to community, and a brilliant example of peer support involving and reaching hundreds of people each year.

Lunch Positive volunteering features as an example of best practice with Public Health England and the charity works closely with NHS to reach and support people living with HIV.

Lunch Positive is one of 244 local charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups in the UK to receive the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service this year. This reminds us of all the ways in which fantastic volunteers are contributing to their local communities and working to make life better for those around them.

Gary Pargeter, Director at Lunch Positive, said: “We’re overjoyed that Lunch Positive has received this award for voluntary service. Our organisation, projects and the support we provide are all built upon the energy, contributions and kindness of volunteers. Our volunteers are shining examples of what great things can be achieved by and for a community, and what impact this can have.

“Our charity has been founded, led and delivered by volunteers, people living with HIV and our allies. Genuinely community and grassroots to the core! The impact of volunteering throughout our projects is amazing. During the pandemic our volunteers prepared and delivered over 34,000 meals! Volunteers have formed and developed new work. Volunteers have worked tirelessly to reach and support, and because of our volunteers Lunch Positive provides the largest regular support gathering for people living with HIV in the locality.

“Volunteering to support people with HIV is a long held tradition, now going back over 40 years since HIV was first identified. We are extremely proud to continue that tradition, meeting the needs of today which are still often complex.

“It is a genuine team effort, and it is so fitting for this Queens Award for Voluntary Service to recognise the high quality of work achieved by our volunteers, the trust this engenders in the HIV community, and the impact it has for people using our projects.

“Our volunteers help hundreds of people each year, many who would not otherwise receive support. Volunteering is a wonderful thing, our volunteers are amazing people and so rightly deserve this brilliant recognition!”

For more info on Lunch Positive, CLICK HERE