Tag Archives: publicity

World AIDS Day 2011: LASS In The News – ITV1 Julie’s Real Story and Our Free Rapid HIV Testing Service!

We are pleased publish our local advert to promote HIV testing, in our office location in Leicester Town Centre, on Regent Road.

This advert speaks with 15 languages internationally.  This advert cost marginally and considerably less than the Governments 1987 “Tombstone” Advert.

Our message is clear, it is better to know your own HIV status and you can get a HIV test at LASS, and have the result within a minute!

Our team of volunteers have specialist training to provide a free and confidential test, we also have a fantastic support team to provide after-care and further information if required.  We also have established network links so we can refer to more specialist agencies all around Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland so you can be sure to get expert advice for your needs.

We also have a support group called LhivE, a group of people from Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland who are living with HIV.  Living with HIV brings a whole set of its own issues and LhivE demonstrate that people living with HIV can lead fulfilling and safe lives with choices.

We hope you like our new advert and hope that you’ll feel comfortable to contact us if you would like a free and confidential test.

The city of Leicester has the fastest-rising HIV rate in the east Midlands and the sixth-highest in the country.

Meanwhile, in 2009/10, national research demonstrated that community testing was effective in delivering tests to those at risk, preventing late diagnosis and thereby reducing onward transmission. As there was no such community testing service in Leicester, we set about creating one!

It is the training of our volunteers which makes the project unique as a method of engaging with specific African communities which are considered to have a high need.  As well as delivering courses to train volunteers to carry out tests among Zimbabwean and Congolese community groups, we also provide a safe and confidential place for people to receive a test.

Our volunteers have created a 50-second advert promoting the value of knowing your HIV status in 15 languages.

We have delivered more than 400 tests, more than half of which are to the BME communities in the region.  While the first phase of the project involved delivering tests only from our building, funding has ensured  we can use our van to take testing to more venues across Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland.

We were delighted to be highly commended by the Charity Awards, the UK charity sector’s most prestigious awards scheme earlier this year, after being short-listed in the Healthcare & Medical Research category.   This means we have been judged to be of the best 32 Charities in the whole country. Our sincere thanks go to all our service users, volunteers, staff and people in partner organisations who are the real reason we have achieved such a magnificent accolade. Community based HIV testing and our advertisement for this service were the basis of for our application.

WIDESPREAD TESTING IS URGENTLY NEEDED – Health Protection Agency.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) predicts that unless more focus is given to HIV prevention and routine testing, more people could become infected.

It is 30 years since the first case of HIV was formally diagnosed, and since then there have been several major breakthroughs in medical treatment resulting in longer life expectancy for those infected by the virus.

But some medical experts now believe because of the success of anti viral drugs in prolonging the lives of carriers, it has led to complacency.

HPA figures show that in the last three decades 115,000 people have been diagnosed with HIV in the UK alone, with 27,000 people having gone on to develop full-blown Aids – and 20,000 of those having since died.

We need a complete and wholesome approach to treating HIV and most importantly help prevent its spread – Dr Rupert Whitaker, a long-standing HIV survivor

But what is worrying the medical profession and campaign pressure groups is that, despite all the medical advances over the last three decades, the number of HIV cases in the UK is expected to rise next year to 100,000 and some of those cases will be people who do not yet realise they have been infected by the virus.

Dr Valerie Delpech, Head of HIV surveillance at the HPA, believes widespread testing is urgently needed to help get new cases diagnosed.

“It is so crucial when treating someone who is HIV positive as quickly as possible. That way their lives can be prolonged considerably,” she said.

“Provided someone is tested within the early stages of infection, so they have only had HIV for a short time, and they receive effective medication followed up by effective therapy, then their life expectancy is very good.

“In fact we can safely say HIV is no longer a life threatening illness but a chronic life long condition which if treated correctly can mean people can live to their normal life expectancy.”

LASS are registered for JustTextGiving which enables supporters to make donations of up to £10 by text message.

It’s easy to donate to LASS, and it takes no time at all, simply text: “LASS25 £10″ to 70070.  (You can change the amount of your donation to: £1, £2, £3, £4 or £5 if you prefer) and you’ll receive a text message receipt, and the chance to add Gift Aid by text or in web form.  More details are available from this link.

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Fancy a Curry? – Join Us For Social Evening At The Cuisine Of India Restaurant

Syed Rahman, who runs the Cuisine Of India restaurant is hoping to raise £100,000 for local charity by hosting Curry Nights.  In the last three years he’s managed to raise a whopping £20,000 for charities such as Save The Children, Derbyshire Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance, The Laura Centre, Loros and many more.

Last year, LASS enjoyed a social evening of delicious food with friends and raised around £500 which assist our causes, namely, Foodbank, The David Manley Fund and Winnie’s Fund for Children.

The money is raised by special events held at Cuisine of India where groups of people pay £16 each for a meal and half the money from each night is donated charity.

Other benefactors include the Motor Neurone Disease Association and thousands of pounds have gone to Children with Cancer, Rainbow’s Children’s Hospice and Breast Cancer Care.

This year, we’re delighted to invite you again to another Curry Night held at the restaurant located at Kelmarsh Avenue, Wigston and if you would like to join us, please call on 0116 2559995 for tickets.

We know from experience that tickets sell quickly, so please book early to avoid disappointment.  Full menu and testimonials are available at Cuisine Of India’s website.

We hope to see you there – 7:30pm on  Monday, 21st November.

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LASS – An Investors in People Organisation


  • Excellent strategy, well communicated.
  • Excellent and trusted leadership.
  • Excellent coaching and mentoring across the organisation.

These are just three of the positive statements used to describe Leicestershire AIDS Support Services by Investors in People after our recent assessment.  We are proud to announce that we are now officially recognised as an investor in people organisation.

Three years ago, LASS underwent a diagnostic review against the Investors in People Standard. The findings have been used to help shape a series of changes in support of a strategic review, implemented by our Chief Executive Officer, Jenny Hand.

The revised strategy has made a significant difference to LASS, both in direction and culturally.  Work has been done to create robust performance measures and to improve communications.  As a result there is clear understanding amongst staff and volunteers of the strategic direction of LASS and there is close co-operation and support between departments.

Within the past three years, we have also set up Well For Living, a Social Enterprise in order to expand beyond our current boundaries and to generate income that is not dependent on Government or local authority funding streams.

In order to achieve Investors in People accreditation, LASS was required to meet 39 mandatory evidence requirements which we did and three more in addition.

We are committed to Investors in People because people are at the heart of everything that we do, our success depends on employees, volunteers, service users and members alike.  We chose Investors in People because the framework for accreditation is focused on engagement with people, training and development, and communication.

We are keen to maintain a high standard of work and ensure our employees and volunteers continually work toward professional development.  Investors in People have national credibility and their revised standard really reflects the needs of a charity such as LASS.

During the last three years the changes to the organisation have meant a significant investment in people development. Our strategy has laid down a clear direction and focus for us and, with the training and development, has enabled staff and volunteers to be confident in influencing how our services are delivered.  For example In 2009 LASS successfully introduced a rapid HIV testing programme that can be administered confidentially on site at The Michael Wood Centre, or via our mobile testing which is taken out to communities.

Many of our staff and volunteers are involved in helping people rebuild their lives once they have been diagnosed as HIV positive. This requires a great deal of positive thinking and encouragement and the same skills are utilised in supporting each other.

We have become a top performing voluntary organisation and were recently shortlisted for “National Charity of the Year 2011” competing against large national charities.  We were recognised by the Charities Aid Foundation as:
“One of the best charities in the Country; a small charity punching well above its weight.”

Investment in staff and volunteer development has been a crucial factor in helping the organisation become so successful. We still have to resolve difficulties in getting to those `hard to reach` areas, but we are very creative and recently held a football tournament where we were able to provide rapid HIV tests to people who would not normally come forward for testing.

Our volunteers have also created an advert promoting the value of knowing your HIV status and this informs the audience using 15 languages.  It’s this work that got us nominated to the Charity Awards this year and a lasting “Highly Commended” status from them.  We always look for opportunities to improve, and welcome ideas and feedback.

Investors in People is an assessment to good standards and working practice.  We believe we can continue to “punch above our weight” and we welcome the opportunity to do so, right now and in the future.

We thank our many volunteers, service users and partner organisations who had a part to play in ensuring we continually improve and perform well.

Leicestershire AIDS Support Services Nominated For National Award

Leicestershire Aids Support Services has been nominated for a major national prize at the UK charity sector’s most prestigious awards scheme, The Charity Awards.

LASS provide support, information and advocacy to people affected by HIV and AIDS as well as working to prevent the spread of the disease through community action, awareness raising and training.  We have been shortlisted in the Healthcare & Medical Research category.  We are hoping to pick up the coveted award at an awards ceremony in London on 9th June attended by personalities including comedian Hugh Dennis, author Monica Ali, star of Strictly Come Dancing Bruno Tonioli and newsreaders Krishnan Guru Murthy and Andrea Catherwood.

Chosen from a record number of entries, LASS has been shortlisted by the Charity Awards judges for its Rapid HIV testing service, a drop-in service set up in 2009 to provide tests for local people as soon as they make the decision to have one.  Leicester City has the highest rising HIV rate in the East Midlands and 6th highest in the country, due in part to the number of people living locally who are unknowingly infected.  Since opening its doors, the Rapid HIV testing service has delivered more than 400 tests, helping to prevent late diagnosis and onward transmission.  If we win this category, we will also be in the running to pick up the Overall Award for excellence in charity management – a prestigious award given to the best of the 10 category winners.

Patrick Bowe Chair of LASS Board of Trustees said:

‘I am delighted that LASS such a small charity had been shortlisted in such a big field. This is a testament to the high quality work of the volunteers and staff.’

The annual Charity Awards ceremony, sponsored by the Charities Aid Foundation, The Leadership Trust and The Times, is the highest profile event in the charity calendar.  Since launching 12 years ago, the awards have honoured hundreds of charities, large and small, from across the UK, acknowledging their outstanding work and achievements and the tireless commitment of the people behind them.  The charities, which submit their own entries, are each shortlisted for specific initiatives which have improved the delivery of their charitable objectives and which demonstrate outstanding examples of best practice from which other charities can learn.

Jenny Hand CEO at LASS said:

‘We are all very proud of the real difference our support services, awareness raising and HIV testing is making to so many local people. We have been judged to be one of the best 32 Charities in the Country by the Charity Awards panel. This is a real achievement by our volunteers and staff in a particularly challenging year with so many threats to funding sources.’

The Charity Awards 2011 is organised by Civil Society Media, the leading publishing and training company for the voluntary sector.  The distinguished panel of judges includes Andrew Hind CB, former chief executive of the Charity Commission, Dr John Low CBE, chief executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, Dame Mary Marsh, founding director of the Clore Social Leadership Programme and former chief executive of the NSPCC, Sir Christopher Kelly, chair of the King’s Fund, Lesley-Anne Alexander, chief executive of RNIB and Martin Brookes, chief executive of New Philanthropy Capital.

Daniel Phelan, organiser of the Charity Awards 2011 comments:

“The Charity Awards recognise and reward the exceptional work that takes place within the voluntary sector right across the UK and beyond.  This year, our 12th, has seen a record number of organisations decide that it is their time to take a bow, demonstrating that charities, rather than being disheartened by the challenging times we face, are finding strength and inspiration in adversity.  It is a great testimony to the spirit of the sector and makes the acknowledgement of the major and selfless contribution they make to society, more important than ever.

By being shortlisted, LASS has already demonstrated that it is amongst the best managed charities in the UK. I wish everyone involved the best of luck on the night.”

LASS offer a completely free and confidential rapid HIV test and you’ll get the results within 60 seconds from a simple finger prick test.  We use the Insti HIV test produced by BioLytical laboratories.  The test is 99.96% accurate from 90 days post contact for detecting HIV 1 and 2 antibodies.

Appointments are not always necessary, if you would like a test, please contact us on 0116 2559995

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Our message is clear, know your own HIV status. Get a HIV test at LASS and have the result within a minute!

We are pleased publish our local advert to promote HIV testing, in our office location in Leicester Town Centre, on Regent Road.

This advert speaks with 15 languages internationally.  This advert cost marginally and considerably less than the Governments 1987 “Tombstone” Advert.

Our message is clear, it is better to know your own HIV status and you can get a HIV test at LASS, and have the result within a minute!

Our team of volunteers have specialist training to provide a free and confidential test, we also have a fantastic support team to provide after-care and further information if required.  We also have established network links so we can refer to more specialist agencies all around Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland so you can be sure to get expert advice for your needs.

We also have a support group called LhivE, a group of people from Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland who are living with HIV.  Living with HIV brings a whole set of its own issues and LhivE demonstrate that people living with HIV can lead fulfilling and safe lives with choices.

We hope you like our new advert and hope that you’ll feel comfortable to contact us if you would like a free and confidential test.