Volunteer News



by Rachel, Volunteer Coordinator at George House Trust


Its “bin” a wonderful month of June.  We have partied hard, welcomed new volunteers to Meet and Greet and Saturday Drop in and we are all a flutter with the excitement of Manchester Pride 2018.  For more on Volunteering, drive…I mean read…on


Hello and welcome to July’s Volunteer News.  What a month it has been! We have welcomed two new volunteers to the fold - Philip who will be meeting and greeting and Paul who is helping with our courses, Sessions and Events. They are both already getting stuck in and thoroughly enjoying their roles. We have partied and what a night that was.  We really hope everyone enjoyed themselves, I certainly did! ‘What else?’ I hear you cry.  Well, we finally have the new look Newsletter which we hope you enjoy.  This will give you a good overview of all of the goings on here at HQ and will also mean, for those of you who prefer to skim read our News, you can easily pick and choose what to read.


For more on Manchester Pride, volunteer roles, meetings and bins (yup it is really that exciting) read on… 



The Pride Planning meetings are well under way and the excitement is growing for this year’s Pride.  There has been some interesting chat about Queens in baskets and red shoes.  All will be revealed soon.  We recently welcomed our Pride Support Volunteer Jack and our Pride Support Intern Beatrice to the team so you will be hearing from them about volunteer shifts very soon.  Keep an eye out for a shift sign up form over the next couple of weeks.  In the meantime, take a look at ways you can get involved…

Parade Volunteering: Have you always fancied being in the actual Pride Parade on the Saturday and strutting your stuff for an extremely worthwhile cause?  This year we are looking for volunteers to fundraise whilst being part of the Parade on the Saturday.


Expo Stand: The Expo is running on the Saturday and Sunday day 11am - 5pm and is situated in the popular community space where organisations and community groups can exhibit their work.  If you fancy showcasing all of the wonderful services delivered by George House Trust then pop your name forward for this.


Candlelit Vigil: This takes place on the Monday evening and volunteers help by fundraising and selling candles making it a memorable atmosphere of remembrance and reflection.  Send me an email stating Vigil if this is something you would like to have more information about.




Volunteering at George House Trust doesn’t have to mean sticking to the same shift and doing the same role.  We like to see our volunteer opportunities as dynamic and want you to know that you can dip your toes in other roles.  If you fancy trying something new, why not give it a go?  You could always do a taster shift to see if it’s the right role for you.


We are promoting our Volunteer Driver service at the moment and want to offer this to more service users.  It is such an important role, not only to ensure that our service users get to appointments but also to provide support and reassurance on journey.  Many people who benefit from our Volunteer Drivers would otherwise have to travel alone on multiple methods of public transport and when you are nervous about something these can be big barriers to attending.  If you are a car owner and fancy being that friendly face, check out the role description on the Volunteer Page of the website and give Rachel a shout.

There are lots of other volunteer opportunities being advertised currently.  Our Food Parcels on a Friday is in search of an extra pair of hands and our new Community Connections role is almost ready to launch.  All vacancies are advertised on the website so take a look and get on board.



As part of the Better Together Project we are providing peer mentoring at HIV clinics for the first time.  In the first year we saw 14 people, many of whom had not heard of George House Trust before, at The Hathersage Centre, Rochdale Sexual Health Centre and Ashton Sexual Health Centre.


In year two we will be launching the service at Bury, Withington and at North Manchester General Hospital.  This means we will be able to reach more people who either don’t know about us or have recently been diagnosed.
Our aim is to provide peer mentoring at every HIV clinic in Greater Manchester within the next five years.


Mark and Steph have been quietly scurrying about the place organising our recycling.  Until a couple of weeks ago the only recycling facilities were upstairs at the kitchen where we recycle our food waste, plastics, glass, non-confidential paper and card.  It had been raised that the Meeting Room where lots of our Groups and Sessions take place, did not have any recycling provision.  I am sure everyone has seen those harrowing pictures of or marine life suffocating at the hands of our plastic consumption.  Even Manchester Picadilly has a water fountain to refill your bottle now which is music to my ears.  Platform 11 for anyone who is interested.  Anyway, we digress.  We now have recycling bins in the Meeting Room so we can do our bit and reduce waste to landfill.  There will be more discussion on this at the Courses, Sessions and Events Volunteer Team Meeting.


Our recent team meetings included 


  • Pride Planning 
  • Lead Volunteers

I am very much looking forward to getting into the swing of these quarterly team meetings and hope they will be a productive way to support each other with our roles and share the good, the bad and the ugly.


Our upcoming meetings for those who volunteer in the following roles are:


  • Drivers 19th July 5:30pm
  • Admin 1st August 1pm
  • MGV 1st August 5:30pm 
  • ASV 8th August 3:30pm


See you then!




This newsletter is for you lot so if you have ideas for content or even want to try your hand at guest editing future editions then let me know.  We’d love to get some different voices in here.  Since GDPR we have been asking everyone to update their contact details.  Please keep an eye on your junk mail and make sure that everything is up to date, we would hate to lose touch with you.


Thanks everyone for another smashing month.  July is going to be a busy one so hold on to your seats and get ready for the ride (provided by our Volunteer Drivers of course).


Until next time.


Tuesday, 17 July, 2018




Follow The Yellow Brick Road 2018


Registration is now open for you to join us at the 2018 Manchester Pride Parade.


We’re taking an adventure down the Yellow Brick Road to the ‘Circus of Acceptance’ and we would love you to join us.


That’s right, the circus is coming to town, and in keeping with Manchester Pride’s theme this year, we aim to celebrate the quirks and the differences that make the LGBT community so diverse. Together we can use our voice to silence stigma and discrimination and promote a better understanding of HIV.


You don’t need to click your ruby slippers to register – just click here.


You know what makes a road trip a lot more fun?  Taking a few pals along.  You can register yourself and your family and friends, though we do need an individual email address for each person you register so we can send information and updates about the parade nearer the time.


So roll up everybody, come one and all and make sure you secure your place in the circus of acceptance!


Thank you for supporting George House Trust.

Tuesday, 17 July, 2018

Black Tie Fundraising Gala




Manchester, George House Trust, 3rd November 2018.


Save the date because George House Trust will host its first black tie fundraising gala at The Midland Hotel and we want you to be there.  The Gala will raise money to support people living with HIV in the North West.


We’ll start the evening with a sparkling drinks reception and the opportunity for guests to find out more about the incredible and crucial work that George House Trust does.  The drinks reception is followed by an exquisite three course banquet including wine and coffee.


Guests will be entertained throughout the evening with music from West End star Kerry Ellis and iconic drag performer Mary Mac.  We’ll keep the party going until the early hours.


There’ll also be an auction with some amazing items up for grabs, so get your paddles ready and prepare for some high bidding!



You can buy tickets now priced at £60, or you can get your friends together and buy a table of 10 for £500.


For more information about the event please contact community fundraising organiser, Samuel Clarke on 0161 274 4499 or samuel@ght.org.uk


Tuesday, 17 July, 2018




A Community Statement


PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) prevents people getting HIV and is almost 100% effective when taken as prescribed. It provides protection to the many people who continue to be vulnerable to HIV, both in the UK and around the world. The drug has been proven to be cost effective when measured against the cost of lifelong HIV treatment and care.


A large-scale study of PrEP is taking place in England (the PrEP IMPACT trial). This has made PrEP available to some people on the NHS - but numbers on the trial were originally capped at just 10,000. Within only eight months of this three-year trial commencing, over 7,000 people had been recruited, with many participating clinics closed to any further recruitment of gay and bisexual men. The result was many people were turned away from clinics who were in need of PrEP - some of them getting HIV as a result of not being able to access PrEP when they needed it.


In June 2018 NHS England announced it is considering a proposal for a further 3,000 places to be made available on the trial. Whilst welcome, this provides only temporary relief. With continuing high demand for PrEP, clinics will again be full and turning people away within a few months. It is therefore not a sustainable solution.


We acknowledge some local successes of trial sites engaging with other groups who could benefit from PrEP, including trans people, BAME communities, women and heterosexual men. However in a national context there have been limited efforts to engage these populations. We therefore also believe there is a clear equalities deficit within the trial.


NHS England have committed to the provision of PrEP. With the trial only beginning in October 2017 and due to run for three years, we cannot wait until late 2020 to do something about the current situation. We need a national programme as soon as possible to ensure PrEP is made available to everyone in England who needs it.


A national PrEP programme will not only meet actual need but also provide welcome assurance to those currently accessing PrEP through the IMPACT trial that they will be able to continue to access PrEP once the trial ends.


NHS England and local authority commissioners must start the process now to ensure PrEP is routinely available in sexual health clinics by 1 April 2019 at the latest. Both NHS England and local authority commissioners should agree and disseminate as soon as possible a timetabled roadmap of the necessary decision-making process. In the meantime a solution must be found to ensure no one in need of PrEP is turned away.


There is nothing to prevent the trial continuing even whilst, in parallel, routine provision of PrEP begins. The trial is asking valuable questions and both interim analysis later in 2018 and then further results can inform ongoing planning decisions.


The numbers on the trial were in line with estimated projections of eligibility and demand for PrEP made by NHS England in its earlier planning. Now it has become clear that need and demand were significantly underestimated, NHS England must honour its commitment to commission PrEP in a national programme. The trial was never proposed by NHS England as a means to only partially meet need.


PrEP has to be planned by NHS England and local authorities working collaboratively. It will be as important for local authorities to plan the PrEP service to ensure it is integrated with other vital prevention and testing efforts, and is promoted to all those at risk of HIV, whether gay and bisexual men, trans people, BAME communities, women or heterosexual men.



  • National AIDS Trust
  • Terrence Higgins Trust
  • African Advocacy Foundation
  • Avert
  • BHA
  • Brigstowe
  • CAPS (Catholics for AIDS Prevention and Support)
  • Clinic Q
  • Eddystone Trust
  • George House Trust
  • i-Base
  • iwantprepnow
  • Kernow Positive Support
  • LGBT Foundation
  • London Friend
  • Metro
  • NAM
  • Naz
  • Positive East
  • PrEPster
  • Reshape
  • River House
  • Sophia Forum
  • Spectra
  • Stonewall
  • Trade UKCAB
  • Yorkshire Mesmac


Download the a copy of the statement

Tuesday, 17 July, 2018




Our ‘Better Together’ Big Lottery Funded Peer Mentoring Project has just come to the end of its first year.  It’s been a fantastic first year with people really getting behind the project and its aim of providing high-quality peer support.


In the first year of the project: 

  • 11 Peer Mentors were recruited and trained 
  • Peer Mentoring was launched in 3 Greater Manchester clinics 
  • 40 people living with HIV were supported with over 90 sessions of Peer Mentoring in clinics, at George House Trust and in the community


What have people said about ‘Better Together’?


"I like how I was matched with someone that I was able to build and sustain the rapport with necessary for this to be a truly enriching experience"


"He showed through the sessions real experiences that helped me and mirrored mine as well, providing solutions even sometimes without noticing"


"The service was invaluable in that it gave me a space in which to articulate my worries and fears around my diagnosis and work through them pragmatically with my peer mentor"




In Year 2 of the project an additional 20 mentors will be recruited with the aim of supporting at least 80 more people.  The project will also provide mentoring in a further 3 clinics in Greater Manchester.


If you’d like to get involved with the ‘Better Together’ project contact bettertogether@ght.org.uk   

Tuesday, 17 July, 2018




Following two cases in Greater Manchester which recently came to our attention where people living with HIV were refused tattoos, we have been advocating with the relevant authorities to ensure that every tattooist in each of the ten boroughs understands their obligations under the Equality Act 2010 and are clear about the fact that to refuse to tattoo someone based on HIV status is unlawful.


As a result of our interventions, we’re very pleased that this issue will now be discussed at a meeting later this month of senior managers with responsibility for tattoo parlour licensing across Greater Manchester.


We are hopeful that this meeting will agree the content of a letter which will be sent to all tattooists telling them that they cannot refuse to tattoo someone living with HIV.


We’ll keep you informed about the outcome of the meeting, but in the meantime, if you have been refused a tattoo because of your HIV status, please let us know.  Email colin@ght.org.uk 


Tuesday, 17 July, 2018




Sunday Drop In, July 22nd


Our monthly weekend Drop In will be on a Sunday this month.


We will be showing a preview screening of a film entitled Ésta es mi cara’ (This is my face).  The screening takes place at 2pm.


Made by Angelica Cabezas Pino, a PhD student at Manchester University School of Arts, Language and Cultures, the film looks at the experiences of a group Chilean men living with HIV.


Angelica will show the film and will stay to discuss it and answer any questions afterwards.


We’re delighted that we are able to show this very interesting and insightful film before it has been seen anywhere else and we hope that you’ll be able to join us.


Please note this is not a public event and is open to Service Users and Volunteers of George House Trust


Tuesday, 17 July, 2018




Monday July 23rd 3pm to 7pm at George House Trust


Do you have a partner, friend or family member who identifies as a man who has sex with other men?


Our PaSH partner LGBT Foundation will be running a rapid HIV test & talk service on Monday 23rd July between 3pm and 7pm at George House Trust.


Each appointment takes approximately 20-30 minutes and requires a small amount of blood from a finger-prick.  You’ll get the result in the session.


Whilst you’re in the appointment, members of the Sexual Health Programme will have a confidential, non-judgemental chat about HIV exposure and risk as well as giving you an opportunity to chat about how you can have pleasurable and fulfilling sex and relationships.


There will be eight available appointment slots on the day – the first at 3pm and the last at 6.30pm.


If somebody you know would like to make an appointment, they should email info@ght.org.uk with a name and contact telephone number.  We will then make contact with them to give them their appointment time.


Tuesday, 17 July, 2018

Thank You Matt!




For a first at George House Trust, we had someone fundraising for us by taking part in the London Night Cycle.


Matt Thornton took on the challenge and used his own story to garner support and tell people about the vital work we do at George House Trust. Before the ride, Matt had said


“anyone who lives with HIV will know, support is one of the key things to get you through the early months of diagnosis and George House Trust do such an amazing job of helping people that I felt compelled to try to raise as much money for them and their amazing work as I can”


Matt managed to absolutely smash his fundraising target and afterwards gave us a bit more information on the event and an update on his experience:


“The London Nightrider Challenge is a 100km circular route around London, starting and ending at the Lee Valley Velodrome, where the likes of Victoria Pendleton won Gold in the 2012 London Olympics.  Now I’m not saying I’m anything like Victoria Pendleton, but to do the Nightrider Challenge, you certainly need alot of stamina to cope with the fact that you’re riding through the night and there are some pretty steep hills throughout the route!  So my training for the event started back in the dark days of February, when it was cold, wet and miserable.  The promise of better weather ahead and the fact that so many wonderful friends and family had sponsored me, got me through those early dark days to complete the Challenge on the 9/10th June 2018.  It’s a fantastic event, that’s well organised, fun and there’s an enormous sense of achievement once you’ve finished it!  The picture featured in this story is taken of me at the 95km mark in the Challenge…I can’t actually believe I have a smile on my face, considering I felt like I wanted to throw up by that point!”



If you want to follow in Matt’s footsteps and raise money to help support people living with HIV then check out the fundraising section of our website or request one of our brand new Fundraising Packs to get hints, tips and ideas to really kickstart your fundraising efforts!

Tuesday, 17 July, 2018

Living with HIV? Want to talk to us?
Call 0161 274 4499 or email: talk@ght.org.uk

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