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Summer 2016
Volume 13, Issue 2

Meet the Mayor of Haslemere

Councillor Sahran Abeysundara was elected as Haslemere's Town Mayor in May 2016 and will hold the position for one year; his Consort is Mr Howard Bicknell.

The Town Mayor chairs the Full Council meetings and represents the town at civic and ceremonial functions. He acts as an ambassador for Haslemere, promoting and upholding the character of the town, and supporting community groups and projects.

Each new Mayor chooses charities they wish to support during the mayoral year, and to raise funds for. The charities chosen by Councillor Sahran are Positive Action, Action Medical Research for Children, The Kaleidoscope Trust and The Haslemere Penny Ha'Penny Trust.               

A passionate supoprter of equlality, Sahran Abeysundara is the first openly gay councillor to hold this most senior position and the first non-white Mayor within Surrey. Sahran has already led on raising the rainbow flag with the previous Town Mayor to show support for the International day against Homophobia and Transphobia, and led a candlit vigil in supoprt of the tragedy in Orlando.

We greatly appreciate Sahran's supoprt and thank him for his consideration in promoting the aims of Positive Action, and wish him a successful year.

Mayor and Flag
Sahran Abeysundara

Survey Service Review 2016

Service Review 2016

Thank you to all those who gave time and thought to assist with the recent survey. The information received has been collated will be used directly to help to shape the future of the services provided by PA.

The feedback is currently being studied by the staff and Trustees as part of the PA's ongoing strategic review and we will sharing our proposal with you shortly.

You will have further opportunities to comment on services as the details of the new plan will be shared with SURE and service users for further consideration and discussion. 


Portsmouth Pride 2016

Pride 2016

On Saturday 18th June we got in the summer mood and ventured down to Southsea Common to join Portsmouth Pride. Staff and volunteers hosted a Positive Action stall raising money from red ribbons - both the fabric and painted kinds! - and a “guess the number of ribbons” game. It was a fun day and great to see the parade make its way into the common - celebrating the LGBT community and how important it is to embrace diversity in our society, especially in the aftermath of the tragic events in Orlando the week before.

In your Area...

Positive Action staff are available to meet with you in sexual health clinics and other venues in the community.

Marcela regularly attends the Guildford (Buryfields) clinic, however we would be pleased to meet with you at other clinics in Hampshire or Surrey if that is helpful to you. Please contact the team at PA or at your clinic to arrange an appointment.

News from...

Aldershot Drop-in Centre

Southampton Drop-in Centre

Portsmouth Drop-in Centre

Should you require to see a member of the team outside of drop-in then please contact a member of the team and a private appointment can be arranged for you.


  • Judi and Zoe are running emotional wellbeing support safe groups every other Friday from June.
  • Ruth Sim (from Buryfields Clinic) and Julie Barker (from Crown Heights and Aldershot Clinics) are available to meet with you in the Centre if you'd like to discuss your health or medications.
  • One great idea we had to help us to maintain the centre and to increase our income, was to share our space with Judi and Zoe (Just Wellbeing). They have now taken an office at the Aldershot centre and are runing a young person's mental health service in the evenings - which we wish them every success with.

Contact Marcela for more information or to book appointments -


  • Katrina Humpreys is available  to meet you in the Centre if you have questions about your health or medications.
  • We are pleased to announce that our contract with Southampton has been extended for one year.

Contact Russell for more information or to book appointments -


  • Jane Butt and Ynez Symonds are available at drop-in to discuss your mental wellbeing, your physical health and your medications.
  • Competiion for funding is incresaing as more cuts are made to support services. Therefore despite much effort we have not yet been successful in securing funding for Portsmouth but the Trutees are in agreement that suport will continue to be funded through PA's reserves (savings) for now.

Contact Russell for more information and to book appointments -

Dates for your Diary

Diary Dates

Please check the website regularly for dates for the above and for other events -

Thank you

Support and Donations

We were very appreciative to have received support and donations recently from the Farnborough Rotatory Club, the London Hotel in Southampton, the Waitrose Yateley store and from the Waitrose Locks Heath store.

Our sincere thanks to you for the valuable support you have shown

SURE Information

The SURE group is made up of service users and we meet every two months with a member of staff at one of the drop-ins.

All service users are welcome to come along and find out what the group do.

Service user representatives:

Aldershot: Robert

Portsmouth: Mike and Jane

Southampton: Morgan

Would you like to be a service user rep? We are a friendly group, passionate about improving the lives of people living with HIV. If you are interested speak to Russell, Marcela or Brian at one of the centres.


  1. Safe sex messages
  2. PrEP is back on NHS agenda
  3. Generic ARVs
  4. HIV monitoring
  5. UK-CAB Treatment Training
  6. UK-CAB meeting (HIV and Hormones)

Visit SURE on the website -

Positive Experiences - Peter Hellawell (Chair)

Easy as A, B, C...D?

‘What am I doing with what I’ve got?’

I originally came upon this phrase some 20 years’ ago in a self-help group’s Daily Reader (a book of 365 jottings each of which are assigned to a particular day and can be considered to help the reader out of a place of confusion, despair, lethargy or even all three!) Back then it was about committing to the present reality, letting go of the ‘what ifs’ and ‘if only’s that then clogged my thinking with a combination of paralysing fears and fantasies.

The phrase evidently stayed with me and ‘What am I doing with what I’ve got?’ has recently bubbled into my thoughts in an assortment of situations – both personal and in relation to Positive Action.

For me the first half of 2016 has seen a hiatus in my money-making activity (my ‘paid work’) after a pretty hectic couple of years. It would have been all too easy to go into a panic and frantically scrabble around after work. Instead I took a deep breath, stepped back and with the words ‘What am I doing with what I’ve got?’ acting as a parroting guide, I’ve consolidated, reviewed and planned for the next phase of my humble existence!

Perhaps surprisingly ‘What am I doing with what I’ve got?’ has also ensured that I have made plenty of space for fun and I’m now embarking on my fourth mini-break of the year (think ‘tent and camping stove’ rather than ‘hotel and restaurant’ and you’ll see that I’m still keeping one eye on the finances).

In the mix I’ve also been able to give some additional time to PA, my increased availability conveniently aligning with PA’s own ‘consolidation, review and planning’ – in the form of our Service Review.

I’d like to thank everyone that’s taking part this; be that as a respondent, or as someone who helped us to shape and deliver the ‘surveys’. Throughout I find myself thinking ‘What are we doing with what we’ve got?’ – pragmatically seeing honest appreciation of the present state of play as the starting point for any developments. I have personally taken something from each of the one-to-one conversations that I have been privileged to have and, collectively, the findings are already beginning to inform where the organisation may go next.

As background reading (staying abreast of the sector) I’ve also been trying to get my head around a new approach being adopted by, among others, Hampshire County Council namely ‘Asset-Based Community development’ (often abbreviated to ABCD.) It seems to be about understanding people as having assets (rather than merely needs) and seeing new and established communities as being ideally placed to develop both the individual and themselves by closer, integrated working... It seemed pretty self evident to me. But then I realised that at some level it isn’t always how either individuals behave or organisations function. Certainly it wasn’t how I used to behave – that being the case there’d never have been a place in my thinking for ‘What am I doing with what I’ve got?’

It may not be as easy as ‘ABCD’ but I happily pass on the phrase for together to use as they wish: ‘What am I doing with what I’ve got?’


Looking for Help On-line

You might be aware that we don't currently have a CAB Advisor in-house. You may not be aware however, that there is a lot of information available on-line to supoprt individuals to help themselves.    Visit to see how easy it is.

There is also an option where you may "Webchat" with a member of the general CAB team. 

For more help, please contact Russell or Marcela.

Citizens Advice

Embracing Life with HIV...

Access Equity Rights Now

This year the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) will be held in Durban, South Africa (18-22 July). It is the world’s largest meeting for HIV scientists, leaders and community members working to end AIDS. Over 18,000 delegates, including 1,000 journalists will converge on Durban to advance efforts to treat and prevent HIV.

Jane our SURE Representative will be one of the 18,000. She was awarded a place on LIVING2016, a summit for people living with HIV, held just before the main conference. She will also co-facilitate a workshop Positive Health, Dignity and Prevention for Pregnant Women and Mothers Living with HIV based on a treatment literacy guide designed for HIV positive women.

The theme of the conference is ‘Access Equity Rights Now’. 15 million people now have access to life-saving HIV treatment. However, more than 60% of people living with HIV remain without ARVs – women and girls, men who have sex with men, transgender people, sex workers, young people, and people who use drugs remain under-prioritised in the HIV response. We must now ensure no-one is left behind!

Follow live sessions and get updates at:

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

What you think are the key issues for trans people who are either living with HIV or are at risk of acquiring HIV?

NAT is doing a piece of work to establish existing evidence about HIV risk for trans people. As part of this work NAT would like to talk to trans people as well as organisations or individuals who advocate for trans people. They are interested in hearing what you think are the key issues for trans people, who are either living with HIV or are at risk of acquiring HIV.

If you are interested in talking to NAT about this work, please contact 020 7814 6758


Research on the impact of PIP on people living with HIV

Personal Independence Payment ( PIP ) helps with some of the extra costs caused by long-term ill-health or a disability if you're aged 16 to 64, it is now rolling out and is a major concern for HIV organisations supporting people who need to access disability-related benefits. NAT want to understand how the new benefit and assessment process is affecting people living with HIV and need your help!

You can tell us directly about your experience of being re-assessed for PIP: (This survey is being run by the DBC, of which NAT is a member. They will share any HIV-specific data with us in an anonymised format).


Survey for older people with HIV

THT are conducting a survey on the experiences of growing older with HIV. You can find out more and link to the survey here:


Healthwatch Hampshire

Do you need help with a complaint about an NHS funded service?

Healthwatch Hampshire provides information on making a complaint to the NHS about received treatment. We believe no one likes to complain, but if they feel they have to then an advocacy support service is available. Please follow the link for viewing their leaflet.


Healthwatch Advocacy

Not everyone needs the support of an Advocate to make their complaint. For example, some people just want to know how the complaint system works or know who they should send a letter of complaint to.

What is Healthwatch Advocacy? Healthwatch Advocacy is a free service provided to help support people, within the Hampshire area, with NHS complaints. Healthwatch Advocacy is a client led, independent and impartial service. They provide you with information, options and practical support to help you make an NHS complaint. The service is free, confidential and independent of the NHS.

Visit their website at or call 01962 440262 to give your feedback

Stop the cuts
© Positive Action 2015