NI HIV Charity welcomes £200,000 boost from National Lottery Community Fund to support families impacted by HIV

Positive Life, Northern Ireland’s only dedicated charity supporting people living with or affected by HIV, has welcomed crucial funding from the National Lottery Community Fund to support family-focused services.

The £200,000 grant will fund Positive Life’s ‘+Family Support Project’ which aims to improve the health and wellbeing of families affected by HIV through all stages of the long-term condition.

The funding for the project will see the continuation of individual, peer and family supports, child & family activities such as art therapy, as well as providing practical help such as support with benefits and financing, counselling, and complementary therapies.

The extension of funding for this service for the next two years will enable Positive Life to continue to play a leading role in supporting people affected by HIV in Northern Ireland at a time when Covid-19 has increased demand for the charity’s services as levels of anxiety and uncertainty have noticeably risen among families affected.

Chief Executive of Positive Life, Jacquie Richardson said:

“At Positive Life, we know that to deliver the best possible support for our service users a collaborative, whole family approach is needed. Our +Family Life Project offers practical, wraparound support, provides information and guidance tailored to specific needs, and ensures continued support throughout.

“This funding is hugely welcome and very timely as we have seen demand for our services increase five-fold during the pandemic and had been worried that Covid-19 would restrict access to funding for our services.

“The pandemic has presented our service users with a whole host of triggers for trauma memories, feelings of vulnerability and helplessness, and concerns around access to services, so this funding will be absolutely essential to supporting them and their whole family unit through the time ahead.”

The National Lottery Community Fund NI Director, Kate Beggs said:

“We are really pleased to award Positive Life an additional £200,000 National Lottery Grant to continue their +Family Support Project, which has been making a real and meaningful difference to the lives of children and families across Northern Ireland.

“Through their work, Positive Life has developed excellent connections and partnerships with the community and statutory sectors enabling societal change and helping to ensure that the stigma of living with HIV is addressed.”

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