01 Dec 2014

HIV charity Body & Soul celebrates 18th birthday in sweet style

Body & Soul

Body & Soul is marking its 18th birthday year with a whole host of exciting fundraising activities in a bid to raise £1m.

From delicious cake and muffin sales to an exclusive musical evening with cocktails, and a London to Paris bike ride, funds raised will support children and young people living with, or affected by, HIV.

Refuse to let HIV decide who you are

An innovative UK charity, Body & Soul is dedicated to transforming the lives of children, teenagers and families living with HIV.

According to the charity, the UK HIV epidemic has changed dramatically over the past 18 years, thanks to major advancements in treatment. However, HIV can still have a negative impact on individuals and their families. They say, the stigma and prejudice that surrounds the virus has sadly not changed.

MyDonate was a great fit

Polly Balsom, head of communications for the charity, says: “We chose to use MyDonate after Comic Relief visited Body & Soul with the BT Better Future team earlier this year. It seemed like a great option to use for this campaign.”

With a target of £1 million it was important that every penny supported their vision. Since MyDonate doesn’t charge fees or commission (2-5 per cent), this represents an extra £50,000. With this, Body & Soul could deliver its entire Nutrition for Life programme, which is a comprehensive package of nutritional support for its members.

Here for any child or family

Polly explains: “With our birthday campaign, we’re aiming to raise vital funds that will enable us to make sure that Body & Soul is here for any child or family affected by HIV, as long as we are needed.”

She adds: “For many of the thousands of children and families we support, HIV is just one of a number of challenges that they face, alongside other factors that add to inequality such as poverty, bereavement, poor mental health, loneliness and childhood carer responsibilities.”

The campaign aims to educate the public, and make them think differently about the needs of HIV-affected children and families. Funds raised will go towards providing workshops for promoting positive mental health, professional one-to-one support such as counselling and mentoring, HIV knowledge workshops and specialised therapeutic support for children.

Good nutrition is vital for people living with HIV in order to ensure that they maintain their physical health and that their treatment works effectively. In 2013, this programme included the delivery of more than 11,000 hot, healthy, homemade meals, more than 70 workshops for adults, children and teenagers to learn how to better-manage their nutritional needs and food budget, and individual nutritional assessments and advice from trained volunteer nutritionists.

Donate to their 18th birthday trust fund

Find out more about Body & Soul’s work in supporting families affected by HIV

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