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Helping to support people affected by HIV


October 2016: Notice of Closure of HIV Charity

The HIV charity, Groundswell, is to close having operated in Hampshire since 1988. Formed as a Christian response to the 1980’s AIDS epidemic, Groundswell was a literal groundswell of support from local churches to support local hospitals and hospices to cope with the crisis. As medication and health advice have improved, Groundswell has adapted and became a critical source of life-saving support for those living with HIV providing support to attend medical appointments and adhere to medication. More recently, the charity has continued to be busy with a small set of clients with complex needs.

Recent developments in medical care have meant that the level of support required for clients to attend hospital appointments has greatly reduced. While there are still challenges for those living with HIV, particularly the stigma associated with HIV, the demand for its services are at an all-time low. Coincidentally, from April all of the funding from health and local authorities to the charity has dried up. The trustees decided it was inevitably time to wind up the charity, appreciating that it had served its purpose and well beyond the original vision and plan for the charity. So, over the summer, Groundswell has closed its doors to new clients and spent time transitioning their most vulnerable clients to other sources of support available from local charities or hospitals.

Client Services Manager, Jan Wallis, commented ‘We are thankful for our long history of volunteer-led support for many people living with or affected by HIV. We know we could not have persisted as a charity with such longevity without the generous support of many. We have also been fortunate to have been wonderfully supported for many years by both Health and Local authorities in Hampshire, which has meant our service could make a real difference to hundreds of people coming to terms with and learning to live with their diagnosis’.

Our service will close on Wednesday 30th November 2016. Chair of Trustees, Dr Kate Forbes, said, ‘we regret that it has been necessary to close the charity but we do so with a sense of thankfulness that Groundswell has been faithful over nearly 30 years in serving people living with HIV in Hampshire’.

The board of trustees would like to express their thanks for the support of everyone who has contributed to the life of Groundswell. A final celebration of the life and times of Groundswell will be held on Saturday 12th November 2016.

 

 

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Groundswell Trust, Southampton, Hampshire