Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) West has been awarded a Big Lottery Fund grant of over £115,000 to fund a three-year volunteer scheme to support people living with HIV in the South West.

There are now over 1,100 people living with HIV in the South West, with new diagnoses rising by over 60% between 2002 and 2003.

The project will encourage over 100 volunteers to provide a range of services including buddying, information and advice, support groups and and health promotion outreach work, from THT’s offices in Bristol and Swindon.

The volunteer themselves will also benefit from the project, which is designed to help participants gain skills and confidence and get back into training and employment.

Sue Peters, Regional Manager for THT West said: “The Big Lottery Fund grant is going to make a huge difference to the work we do with people living with HIV, and through our outreach work, we also hope to raise awareness of sexual health and to reduce the number of new cases of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.”

“We’re particularly looking for people who are under-represented among THT’s volunteer team, including people living with HIV and people from African and Asian communities.”

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