Champion Well for Living, a cause in your local community

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The Lloyds Community Fund believes in helping local communities to thrive. That’s why they’re giving you the opportunity to champion a good cause in your local area and we hope you’re vote for Well for Living!

Earlier this year, the nation nominated over 7,000 community groups across England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and Channel Islands. 1,400 causes in 350 communities were then shortlisted for the Community Fund award.

Four local causes in every area will be awarded funding depending on the number of votes they receive. The group with the most votes will get £3,000, the next £2,000, £1,000 and finally, £500.

Well for Living has been nominated, they support individuals and their communities to be more health aware and health literate through a better understanding medical language, building confidence to ask the right questions. We would use an award to provide workshops for 80 more people, helping people to take steps to be more in control of their own health.

 We’re seeking your help! – You can vote online, by SMS text, via Twitter and in participating Lloyds Bank branches.
  1. To vote online, visit the Community Fund Page and click the on the orange “Vote for Us” box at the top of the page.
    – Complete the details and click “submit” – you will be sent an email from the Lloyds Bank Community Fund to confirm your vote.
    – Please click on the link in the email to confirm your vote, otherwise it won’t count.
  2. To vote via Twitter click on the “Vote for Us” box at the top of the page.
    – Click the “Vote via Tweet” button to auto populate a tweet with our unique hashtag (you may need to login, or create an account if you don’t have one).
    – Your followers can then retweet your message to give us a vote.
  3. To vote via SMS, text VOTE followed by our unique code (VOTE LJP) – also found via clicking on the “Vote for Us” box to 61119 or +44 7860 014 100 if you’re in the Channel Isles or Isle of Man.
  4. To vote in branch, visit one of the branches highlighted on the map and collect a voting token from a member of staff.

Please vote, your entry could make a lot of difference in your local area.  In May 2014, through on-line, paper based and street surveys, Well for Living consulted Leicester City residents about a proposed Well-Being Centre.

A Leicester Well-Being Centre would be in an existing building in the central shopping and business area of Leicester City for use by people living in Leicester City.

It would have a range of services and support inside to help people become healthier and stay healthy – avoiding illness and improving everyone’s quality of life.

Some ideas so far of what a Leicester Well-Being Centre could offer include training courses for people on healthy living; massage and acupuncture; physiotherapy services; counselling; activities to help people stay fit and healthy; financial advice and getting support if you become ill.

It would be in addition to existing NHS and social support services and would be run by trained professionals, working for a number of local community and charity organisations.

 

Rev Canon Dr Gideon B. Byamugisha in Leicester

Tom:

A reminder that we are running a HIV & BELIEF SESSION this week,

– Wednesday 17th September 2014: 1.00pm – 4.00 pm at LASS (53 Regent Road, Leicester LE1 6YF)

Canon Gideon will lead this session on HIV and Belief – exploring issues about stigma, self-stigma, support for testing and condom use and reducing discrimination and prejudice.

The session will be of interest to people whose faith / belief plays an important role in their life also for those with an interest in the role that faith and belief have on people’s lives to help them cope or otherwise with a long term condition like HIV.

Originally posted on LASS:

Gideon Byamugisha

Opportunities to build your knowledge and understanding about HIV and other social issues from a personal perspective with Canon Gideon Byamugisha

Who is Canon Gideon Byamugisha?

Rev Canon Dr Gideon B. Byamugisha is an ordained priest in the Anglican Church of Uganda. In 1992, he became the first African religious leader to openly declare his HIV-positive status. He has since devoted his life to an HIV / AIDS ministry which has taken him to over 40 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and many other parts of the world.

Gideon is driven by a passion for the dignity and rights of all people, especially those marginalised, stigmatised and discriminated against because of their HIV positive status. He has played leading roles in the Church of Uganda’s AIDS program, the Uganda AIDS Commission, World Vision International, the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance, Christian AID, special conferences of the United Nations, and in founding the African…

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Michael Louttit

Michael

It is with great regret that we inform you that former staff member, Michael Louttit who worked within our Direct Services team has passed away.

Michael was a very valued member of this organisation. He was a caring and well-respected employee. Michael will be greatly missed by us all.

If you would like information about funeral arrangements, please contact us on 0116 2559995.

Rev Canon Dr Gideon B. Byamugisha in Leicester

Gideon Byamugisha

Opportunities to build your knowledge and understanding about HIV and other social issues from a personal perspective with Canon Gideon Byamugisha

Who is Canon Gideon Byamugisha?

Rev Canon Dr Gideon B. Byamugisha is an ordained priest in the Anglican Church of Uganda. In 1992, he became the first African religious leader to openly declare his HIV-positive status. He has since devoted his life to an HIV / AIDS ministry which has taken him to over 40 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and many other parts of the world.

Gideon is driven by a passion for the dignity and rights of all people, especially those marginalised, stigmatised and discriminated against because of their HIV positive status. He has played leading roles in the Church of Uganda’s AIDS program, the Uganda AIDS Commission, World Vision International, the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance, Christian AID, special conferences of the United Nations, and in founding the African Network of Religious Leaders Living With or Personally Affected by HIV and AIDS.

REV CANON DR GIDEON BYAMUGISHA IN LEICESTER

Canon Gideon is in Leicester & the area supporting different LASS events from 17th September to 22nd September. Canon Gideon’s visit theme is “Love (in any language) fluently spoken heals”. “Reaching & sustaining zero new HIV infections, zero household level poverty, zero youth unemployment & zero socially sanctioned violence”

HIV & Belief Session

Wednesday 17th September 2014: 1.30pm – 4.30 pm.
Venue: LASS (53 Regent Road, Leicester LE1 6YF)
Canon Gideon will lead this session on HIV and Belief – exploring issues about stigma, self-stigma, support for testing and condom use and reducing discrimination and prejudice.

The session will be of interest to people whose faith / belief plays an important role in their life also for those with an interest in the role that faith and belief have on people’s lives to help them cope or otherwise with a long term condition like HIV.

Thursday 18th September: 4pm – 8pm:

This is an opportunity for Faith leaders and elders and community leaders to meet Canon Gideon at LASS. Come along and find out more about his ministry and the theme of this visit. Light refreshments will be available.

Friday 19th September: 10am – 3pm

Visiting LASS – for volunteers, staff & service users.
Community meetings and visits.

Saturday 20th September: Regional partner visits & meetings

Sunday 21st September – in Rugby

Monday 22nd September in Leicester for community meetings and face to face discussions.

For Further information or a training session booking form: Please contact LASS on 0116 2559995.

HIV DOES NOT EXIST!!

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Did that grab your attention??  We hope so!

Many of our readers are fluent in ‘HIV speak’, our service users, volunteers, partner agencies and the many people who subscribe to our blog and follow us on twitter.  We don’t need to be told that HIV doesn’t exist because we know it does and have first-hand experience of the condition.

You could argue that within our industry, we have blinkers on, we see people infected and affected by HIV on a daily basis, we support people and we advocate.  We assist when people are victim to prejudice and stigma.  We offer emotional support to people when they need it most and we research the condition.

Yet for some people, it’s hard to believe that HIV is a real condition.  Some people believe that the HIV virus and its associated medical paraphernalia is a fabrication by pharmaceutical companies to create expensive drugs and keep people using them.

Others believe that HIV already has a cure, but this is being kept secret in order to keep the drug companies (i.e. Big Pharma) in business.

HIV/AIDS denialism is the belief, contradicted by conclusive medical and scientific evidence HIV does not cause AIDS.  Some denialists reject the existence of HIV, while others accept that HIV exists but say that it is a harmless passenger virus and not the cause of AIDS.  Insofar as denialists acknowledge AIDS as a real syndrome, they attribute it to some combination of sexual behaviour, recreational drugs, malnutrition, poor sanitation, haemophilia, or the effects of the drugs used to treat HIV infection in the first place.

The scientific consensus is that the evidence showing HIV to be the cause of AIDS is conclusive and that AIDS-denialist claims are pseudoscience based on conspiracy theories, faulty reasoning, cherry picking, and misrepresentation of mainly outdated scientific data.  With the rejection of these arguments by the scientific community, AIDS-denialist material is now targeted at less scientifically sophisticated audiences and spread mainly through the Internet.

Despite its lack of scientific acceptance, HIV/AIDS denialism has had a significant political impact, especially in South Africa under the presidency of Thabo Mbeki.  Scientists and physicians have raised alarm at the human cost of HIV/AIDS denialism, which discourages HIV-positive people from using proven treatments.

What do you think about this? – Fancy a chat with the Skeptics?

“Skeptics in the Pub” are a group of people in Leicester who like getting together in a pub to have a few beers and talk about ‘nonsense’.

Each month, they find a speaker – typically a scientist or prominent sceptic who will speak for around 40 minutes.  The subjects of the talks vary, but they will typically be about a common belief that either cannot be justified by the available evidence, or that can actually be demonstrated to be false by the available evidence.

Examples of these subjects are:

  • Alternative Medicine
  • Psychics & Mediums
  • Religious Beliefs
  • Holocaust Denial
  • Pseudoscience
  • Creationism

The talk is followed by an informal discussion by all who attend and their next talk is about “AIDS Denialism” with Myles Power.

In the early days of the AIDS epidemic many bizarre and dangerous ideas were advanced regarding the origin of the disease and its cause. Since the discovery of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) these conspiracy theories, which once filled the void left by the lack of information, have all but vanished. Over the past three decades HIV has been the subject of intense scientific research which has resulted in effective treatments, rapid HIV tests, and promising cures. Yet unbelievably there are a small number of people who are sceptical of the “official story”. Although these people are small in numbers they are extremely well funded and can pose a very real threat to public health.

In this talk Myles discusses some examples of the dangerous assertions in the documentary ‘House of Numbers’ and explains how they have led to the death and suffering of hundreds of thousands of people. He will also talk about the failure of the DMCA and how it can be exploited by the proponents of pseudoscience.

The talk is at 7:30pm on Tuesday, 19th August at The Font (52 Gateway Street, Leicester)

So if you fancy the debate, why not pop along it’s sure to be interesting!

 

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Ebola, polio, HIV: it’s dangerous to mix healthcare and foreign policy

A polio worker brings vaccine drops to children in Peshawar, Pakistan. Using health initiatives as a cover for foreign policy can create suspicion of aid workers. Photograph: Fayaz Aziz/Reuters

A polio worker brings vaccine drops to children in Peshawar, Pakistan. Using health initiatives as a cover for foreign policy can create suspicion of aid workers. Photograph: Fayaz Aziz/Reuters

There are reasons to be fearful of the Ebola crisis gripping parts of west Africa: death; the risk of contagion; overburdened health infrastructure; and concern as neighbouring countries worry about what the WHO now admits is an international health emergency.

These difficulties are exacerbated by the population’s fear not just of the virus itself, but also of the health workers there to help.

While this fear is primarily related to contagion, there are other, more deeply rooted factors at play. Mistrust of outsiders, particularly western health workers, is bound up in the history of Africa and colonial medicine. When much of the continent was under colonial rule, great powers used these outposts of their empires as laboratories, and Africans as their test subjects.

Much work has been done through the years to counter this negative legacy: decentralised health systems, collaborations with local partners, training for African health workers, and partnerships between government, civil society and international donors.

The Ebola outbreak underlines how quickly such progress can unravel in times of crisis, and how the legacy of past mistakes by western powers can resurface to speed up that unravelling, to the detriment of health and security locally and globally. Frequently, particularly in the developing world, past failures re-emerge, complicating efforts at crisis management.

In this context, recent revelations from Cuba – where it was revealed that the US Agency for International Development (USAid) had used HIV prevention work as a smokescreen for fomenting political opposition – should ignite a debate about the necessity of keeping the work of public health agencies, security services and foreign policy separate. Where they converge, trust is squandered. And, as we are witnessing in west Africa, mistrust in times of emergency hampers the necessary work and efforts of foreign aid workers hugely.

The so-called “securitisation” of healthcare is not new. The outbreak of HIV set a precedent as the first health issue to be recognised by the UN security council as an explicit threat to international security. While HIV was a genuine global crisis, there have been recent examples in which foreign policy objectives have been cloaked by apparently innocuous public health activities.

In Pakistan, CIA operatives masqueraded as polio vaccinators to gain greater access to Osama bin Laden’s compound. Though the charade fulfilled its security intent, it later resulted in very damaging reversals in local efforts to eradicate the disease. The motive was disguised and trust was spent. Ultimately, the populace – and healthcare workers – suffered.

The ability of western governments and agencies to act as emergency providers of healthcare, and as honest brokers, will be increasingly reduced unless we agree that the provision of healthcare should be sacrosanct and protected from motives best realised by other means.

The “blue water” between global health and international security continues to narrow, as the UK foreign and commonwealth office encroaches further on the Department for International Development. Meanwhile, the US state department continues to treat USAid as an extension of its operations. Health has traditionally been housed in the international development agencies of western governments. However, as with the role and function of aid and international development, global health is increasingly seen as a part of wider international security strategies for protecting populations from threats such as bioterrorism and infectious diseases such as drug-resistant tuberculosis.

Tactical security objectives – however “successful” – should remain separate from international efforts to improve and protect public health. The Ebola crisis has posed incredible difficulties for health workers in west Africa – imagine how difficult it would be to deal with an outbreak where trust was absent at the outset. We are drifting towards a dangerous convergence of health and security policy, one that makes populations less secure and crisis management immeasurably more difficult.

Story via The Guardian

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Robin Williams 1951-2014

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Jonathan Vincent is mourning the death of a friend, a man to whom he delivered a sofa, struck up a friendship and with whom he helped to hand out money to the homeless.

The death of Robin Williams in San Francisco this morning has left Jonathan saddened and reflective about a man who quietly gave his time and his money to  help others.

Jonathan who now lives in Merimbula on the NSW Far South Coast, first met Robin Williams in 1988 when he was working with a removal company to the rich and famous of San Francisco, AKT Trucking. The trucking company was delivering items to Robin Williams’ temporary home while his new house was being built.

Jonathan said: “We were delivering an expensive couch to his house in San Francisco at the Golden Gate and we just seemed to click. He couldn’t get his head around my New Zealand accent. He could do an Australian accent but not New Zealand one. I worked for him a couple of times and then he said that he was involved in some charity work and would I mind giving him a  hand.”

Jonathan agreed to help Robin. “He drove up to my place, picked me up and we drove to an area where there were lines of homeless people outside soup kitchens.”

“We parked and went on foot and Robin started handing money out. Some people recognised him and some thought he was a ghost. He wore a hoodie because he didn’t want to be recgonised.”

It became a regular outing for Jonathan and Robin about once a month over the course of almost four years when Jonathan lived in San Francisco.

Jonathan said that Robin would either leave some money with the soup kitchen organisers or simply hand it out to the homeless in the queue.

“He was a generous, witty and kind person with his time. He was famous on the big and small screen but there was another side to him that I was privileged to be apart of. The idea was hatched as we jogged around the cinder track in Golden Gate Park in 1989, every Wednesday Robin, a few mates and my partner and I would meet on the corner of O’Farrell and Van Ness to begin our rounds of visiting those who were sleeping rough.He was one of the brains behind the portable homeless shelter in a briefcase.

“You have to realise that San Francisco in winter it can get so cold that people have been found dead even on Market Street, the main shopping strip.

“Robin often handed out cash and clothing, but his greatest gift besides his humour was to offer his hand to show that he did really care. Robin quietly supported many charities but one he was most passionate about was visiting San Francisco General and San Diego General hospitals to offer support to those living with HIV/AIDS.”

“I could not tell you what financial contribution he made to these hospital support services but it was significant. He used to say that he was carrying on the tradition started by Gerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead fame who would hand out $100 bills on Christmas Eve to the homeless.”

It was something that Jonathan also became involved in when he was asked to help Gerry Garcia.  “Robin would come along in his trackies and hoodie surprising and delighting those who recognised him.”

There were moments of quiet and introspection though. Jonathan said: “During his quiet moments you could see in his eyes there was a bigger plan. He always wanted to ground himself by helping the common people. He was very introspective sometimes.”

But there was also a dark side with which Robin Williams wrestled.

Jonathan said that he saw that side when Robin wouldn’t speak for a couple of hours or would suddenly race off when they were jogging as if he wanted to outrun the dark mood that had overtaken him.

Jonathan said: “We have lost one of the great funny men on the 20th century. Robin always lived life at full speed, had his issues with addiction but in his eyes you could always see the spark of human kindness that made him more a man than a celebrity. He was a noble person, of great humility, whom I am privileged to say shared a tiny part of his life and humanity with me.”

Robin Williams 1951 – 2014

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Story via South Coast Register

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