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LSL Consultation Findings on HIV Support Services

15th September 2016

"We would like to thank everyone who took the time to share their views and experiences with Lambeth Council in their consultation on proposed changes to HIV support service across Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham.

"Naturally we are disappointed by the proposed cuts to services for people living with HIV, including METRO's First Point assessment and signposting service. However we welcome the proposals to continue vital work with families and peer support.

"Earlier this year METRO Charity and Positive Parenting and Children merged, both charities have side-by-side fought stigma, embraced equality and diversity and lived through the HIV epidemic, working across London boroughs with the highest prevalence of HIV in the UK. The METRO PPC team continue to deliver key work with families affected by HIV.

"We are pleased to see that the consultation report highlights the niche nature of this work, stating 'no alterative provision had been identified'.

"METRO continues to work locally with partners and commissioners and the people they serve to develop and deliver impactful services supporting the full diversity of people living with HIV, as well as nationally on campaigns such as #stopHIVcuts.

"We were concerned, but not surprised, to see that the consultation still found that 'there is still considerable stigma associated with HIV, and sexuality, [and that] this impacts on the ability of some people to feel safe using mainstream services'.", Andrew Evans, Director of Operations, METRO Charity.

Alongside the HIV Support Services provided in Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham METRO continues to also provide support services in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, Croydon, Wandsworth, Kingston upon Thames, Richmond upon Thames, Merton, Sutton and across Essex.

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Abimbola- First Point

It has been a long time since I felt that someone actually listened to me.

Kwasi - Mentoring

During the 6 month programme, I developed a close relationship with my mentor. Knowing that I would have to talk to him honestly about what I did in the previous 2 weeks somehow forced me to be safe every time I had an encounter.

Joe - Mentoring

The programme had such an impact on my life that I decided to come on board as a volunteer mentor!

David - Counselling

Outstanding people. Outstanding service. Outstanding counselling. Truly something that has allowed me to turn my life around.

Sarah - Counselling

The help and understanding I experienced from everyone I came into contact with whilst using the Metroís services was amazing.

Peter- First Point

I felt so relieved to have a named First Point worker who I can call if I need to be referred to a particular service.

Joan - First Point

Thank you so much for taking time to listen to me and truly understand how I am feeling. This is the only appointment I've had regarding HIV that didnít feel rushed.

Simon - Mentoring

By discussing things at such an intimate level with my mentor, I really came face to face with some of the reasons why I was taking chances before.

Ebere - First Point

I wish this service was around when I was newly diagnosed. I felt my world had fallen apart around me and I didn't know which way to turn for support. You are offering a very valuable service.

Michael - Counselling

I gained a huge amount of help from the counselling service and would like to thank the service for offering so much support.

METRO is always looking for talented people of all backgrounds for a variety of interesting roles, as employees and volunteers.
Support comes in many forms, money is one of them! We'd very much appreciate a donation to help us continue our work.