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Autumn 2017

When Positive Action’s drop in centres closed earlier in the year and the former staff left, many of you must have been sad and disappointed about the loss of this source of support, and worried about whether PA would continue to exist for people living with HIV in Surrey and Hampshire. 

Regrettably there was a hiatus whilst we dealt with the administration resulting from the closures, redundancies and changes to the finances of the charity. The recruitment of a new team of part-time staff took longer than anticipated but we were determined to recruit the right people to take the charity forward.    

We are delighted to say that the new PA is now up and running.   As such, we would like to introduce two new members of staff to you all: Jacquie Killen (Membership Officer) and Clare Percival (Training and Facilitation Lead).  They are really excited about establishing our new model of service and engaging with former service users, supporters and professionals across our geographical area. We may be working differently but we are just as committed to empowering people living with HIV to live healthy and fulfilled lives and to challenge stigma and discrimination associated with the condition. 

One of our new objectives is to connect PLWH to other PLWH for mutual support. During the past three months, we have been impressed by the HIV support groups in Portsmouth, Southampton and Aldershot who established themselves when the PA centres closed. These groups have taken their own lead on providing vital peer support and social contact for people with HIV in these localities. ‘Pier 4’ group in Portsmouth has close ties with NHS Solent and are registering as volunteers with their peer mentoring scheme. ‘Plus Friends’ in Southampton has registered as a community group, and continues to expand and welcome new members. If you would like to join any of the groups or are interested in setting up a group in your area, please email: 

You may have seen our new Facebook page and a recently launched ‘closed’ Facebook group called ‘Positive Life’ where you can post questions or concerns in confidence and share experiences with other members. This has been set up by Jacquie, who worked as a nurse for many years and volunteered in the information services team at the Brain Tumour Charity.  Please check in with Jacquie at or if you are looking for information and advice, please email her at or phone the office on 01252 345019. 

Clare is busy developing a new programme of training courses for members of PA called ‘Positive Living’ providing tailored information and education at different life stages. These courses will launch in the New Year. She has extensive experience in learning and development from working at Action for Carers and running her own training business. In response to a sizeable donation from the people of Haslemere to Positive Action, Clare will be presenting an HIV Awareness event on Tuesday 28th November with a workshop, exhibition and complimentary lunch. 

In the New Year, PA will be launching its new membership scheme so we will be contacting you in due course to explain how it works and what it offers. You will need to become a member to access our services from April 2018.  The scheme will help us to build a community of support for PLWH across Surrey and Hampshire; enable us to communicate with you in the most effective way; and for PA to be fully compliant with the new rules for charities re: data protection.  

Later in the spring, we are planning to hold our first conference for members on the theme of ‘Positive Living’ with presentations from expert speakers and a programme of workshops on current topics.  Please look out for the details of this and dates of future training courses which will be published on our website and in future editions of the newsletter.

We hope you are encouraged by these developments and that you will stay connected with us as we work together to reshape and develop the charity.

Matthew Plumridge - Chairman

Changes to the Board of Trustees

At the AGM in August, Peter Hellawell stood down as Chair of PA after five years. He will remain as a Trustee on the Board and we are grateful for his long-standing commitment to the charity (over eight years on the Board) and dedication to the HIV community.  Matthew Plumridge is excited to take on the position of Chair and to lead the development of the charity at this critical juncture and says ”Change is something that can bring great opportunity, so for me, this is a great time to be involved with Positive Action and HIV”. Matthew is the former Treasurer, our longest serving trustee, and is a specialist to the Charity Sector.

Lissa Marang’a, who has a background in financial services, has returned to the Board after a sabbatical travelling around South East Asia and will be our new Treasurer.  Andrea Summers and Andrew Munnings will continue to bring their vital expertise to the Board as Trustees.

Thoughts from Peter Hellawell

If my life as someone living with HIV has been characterised by anything it is ‘change’. 

Likewise my time with PA has been about continual realignment, adjustment and transformation – change upon change set against a background of changes.

I gave notice to my fellow trustees over a year ago of my intention to step down from the Chair: I felt that both PA and I would benefit from a change. Little did I know then of the seismic changes that were to shake the foundations of Positive Action over those twelve months

As the quote goes ‘Change is life giving’. So here’s to life – out with the old, in with the new. Cheers. Peter H (Trustee and former Chair of PA)

A big Thank You to Haslemere

In September, Positive Action was thrilled to receive a donation of £5,540.88 from the former Mayor of Haslemere, Councillor Sahran Abeysundara. The monies were raised as part of Sahran’s Mayoral Fund and the Haslemere Hogs fundraising campaign, which demonstrated the innovation, hard work and generosity of the people of Haslemere. PA is grateful and honoured to be a recipient and this will be a real boost to our HIV awareness campaign and peer support work in Surrey.

Photo credit Pete Gardner & Haslemere Herald.

Help required from Positive Women to Influence Future Policy

HIV and Women: Invisible No Longer is a one-year project led by Sophia Forum and Terrence Higgins Trust which aims to shine a spotlight on women affected by HIV. 
To help us find out how HIV affects women in the UK and influence future policy and practice, we have two surveys.

  1. Invisible no longer: Experiences. This survey is for women living with HIV to share their views.

    If you are  a woman living with HIV, fill in our survey – we want to hear from you about your experiences and what you think needs to change to ensure that women living with HIV are fully supported.

  2. Invisible no longer: Prevention. This survey is for women who may be concerned about getting HIV to share their views on HIV prevention.

    If you are a woman and want to feed back about HIV prevention, fill in our survey – we want to hear from you about your experiences and what you need to help you to make choices around HIV prevention. 

Closing date for both surveys: 8th of December, 2017.

If you would like more information about the surveys, to be kept up to date with the project, or if you would like to be involved with our media work around HIV and women, please contact

Dates for your Diary

What's Happening

For the latest information on everything that’s happening at PA.; news on HIV research, treatment and services; details and dates of workshops and community events, please visit our website regularly at and check our Facebook page:

Your Local HIV Support Groups

Pier 4 – Portsmouth

Meeting every other Tuesday (7th and 21st November, 5th and 19th December, 2nd, 16th and 30th January) from 16:30 to 18:30 at Milton Village Hall, 182 Milton Rd, Portsmouth, Southsea PO4 8PR.



Friends Plus – Southampton

Fortnightly meetings on Tuesdays at 17:00 in cafes, bars and other informal public spaces. 

For further information and to join the group, please email: Facebook: Plus Friends Southampton HIV community.


Aldershot Group

Fortnightly meetings on Friday lunchtimes from 13:00 to 15:00.

Please email for further details.

Get in touch

If you have any questions or comments about the newsletter or Positive Action we would love to hear from you. Call us on 01252 345019 or email

Our postal address is: Positive ActionNorth Barn4 Hillside RoadALDERSHOT, Hampshire. GU11 3XP

© Positive Action 2017