Tackling prejudice and talking about challenges of HIV
EVENTS were held across Nottingham at the weekend to mark World Aids Day on Saturday.
A concert at Nottingham Contemporary on Friday night raised cash for the Terrence Higgins Trust and the charity was also giving out red ribbons at West Bridgford Asda yesterday.
Meanwhile a lesser-known Nottingham HIV support charity, Tagadere, held a craft fair in St Ann's on Saturday.
Simon Smalley, 50, who is a trustee and secretary of the charity, said World Aids Day was important in tackling the stigma of HIV and reminds people the condition is not just associated with same-sex relationships and developing countries – it affects people from all walks of life in Nottingham.
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"We get mothers coming with their kids, people coming with their parents – we have a very diverse group of people that come from all walks of life," said Mr Smalley.
"All social barriers are broken down and we get a diverse group of people."
Tagadere, which is an old English word that means "together", has been operating as a charity in the city for about three and half years.
This year it was picked by the Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Councillor Leon Unczur, as one of two charities he supports.
The charity was previously known as Positive Attitude and largely run by social services, but Mr Smalley and some other volunteers decided to take the project on and run it as a charity.
Today Tagadere is run entirely by volunteers.
"That's what sets us apart," said Mr Smalley. "There's nothing in Notts – or even the East Midlands – that does what we do."
The charity meets once a week to enjoy a dinner cooked by members and also has access to HIV specialists, including social workers and housing association representatives.
A total of 844 people accessed HIV-related care in Notts last year.
Mr Smalley said: "HIV hasn't gone away – there's a need for a lot more education and to get it back into the public eye."
He added that the craft fair on Saturday was successful, with about 15 crafters selling an array of jewellery, art, hand blown glass and other items.
It took place at Hill View Community Centre in Ransom Road, St Ann's.
For more details about Tagadere call Simon on 07766 800 514 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have you or a loved one been affected by HIV? Call the newsdesk on 0115 948 2000 or e-mail email@example.com.