The trustees of LASS are pleased to present their report together with the financial statements for Leicestershire AIDS Support Services for the year ending 31st March 2012.
The Board and all of the team at LASS are particularly pleased that Archbishop Desmond Tutu has, this last year agreed to be our international patron. This is a particularly significant accolade given that the Archbishop is reducing his commitments in the light of his advancing years, yet he saw fit to honour LASS with his patronage. The board sees this as no small endorsement of the achievements of LASS over the years.
Those who read our annual report will not need to have a reminder that the general economic environment in which LASS woks, remains very challenging indeed. There is no sign of that environment improving any time soon.
For some years now LASS has had to work very hard to maintain its financial position. This work is vital in order that LASS can continue to meet the needs of those living with HIV across the City of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. The CEO, Jenny Hand, and her team have worked very hard in recent years to maintain our income streams which enable LASS to continue to provide our services both direct and educational. The Chair and board are very grateful to Jenny and her team at LASS for their hard work.
Furthermore, the Chair and the board would like to express our gratitude to our core funders, the many volunteers who work with LASS and the many other stake holders for their support over the last year.
The year has been very much one of perpetual change and on-going improvement. Change has been internal and external, expected and unforeseen, some slower than expected and some quicker, some we have tried to challenge and influence and other change has influences far beyond the small charity of LASS or the world of HIV. We know that demographic shifts together with changes in funding, provision and access to health and social care mean that we need to deliver our services differently and during the year have taken on several new opportunities to test out and develop new ways of working.
Our work has been strengthened through inter-team joint working weekly staff briefings as well as monthly meetings, university students on placement and volunteer mentors.
We have been active in partnerships – working with other local VCS sexual health providers to influence the sexual health strategy, with Leicester Partnership Trust in bids for work in local prisons, with local community groups to extend services to their members, for example, the Zimbabwe Association, the Congolese Mutual Group, Sisters from Islam and the East Midlands African HIV Partnership, to mention just a few.
Our HIV community testing has gone from strength to strength with a fantastic report on the impact of the testing training on up take of tests in the African communities. This work is strengthened by our relationship and funding through the African Health Policy Network (AHPN).
We have welcomed many visitors during the year including the Health Minister from Gambia, our own local MP, Liz Kendall, the Lord Mayor, the City Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Chief Operating Officer, colleagues from HIV services across the East and West Midlands, and bishops from Tanzania.
Our biggest achievements were to be highly commended in the National Charity Awards and gaining Investors in People status. For this and all our developments, we thank our service users, volunteers, trustees and staff. Without all their hard work and commitment, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
Well done to everyone!
- Gay Pride 2012 (lass.org.uk)
- To Defeat AIDS, Better Integrate HIV/AIDS Programs and Sexual and Reproductive Health Services (prweb.com)
- Our Patron: Desmond Tutu calls for end to gay stigma to help tackle HIV (lass.org.uk)
- Young Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People face discrimination and negativity (lass.org.uk)
- Help Make Homophobia & Transphobia History! (lass.org.uk)