East London based HIV charity and friends of OutNewsGlobal Positive East have announced the appointment of three high profile new patrons. Labour peer Lord Collins of Highbury joins beauty expert Dominic Skinner and singer-songwriter Rina Sawayama at the charity which has just celebrated its 30th anniversary.
All three new patrons are champions within the community, helping to transform lives through their unwavering and ongoing commitment to promoting LGBTQ+ equality and tackling HIV stigma and social injustice. They were invited by Positive East to celebrate and acknowledge the dedication that they have shown not only to Positive East, but to all those living with and affected by HIV.
A spokesperson for the charity said, “In 1991 at the height of the pandemic, Positive East was founded on the guiding principles of community mobilisation. Thirty years on, and Positive East remains grassroots in its definition. The passion of our Patrons, Board, staff and volunteers reflects our tradition of community-based HIV activism propelled forward by the memory of all those who have come before us.
“With Rina and Dominic joining Lord Collins, Positive East will be strengthen, driving our mission forward as we work tirelessly towards zero new HIV transmissions and a world where HIV stigma and HIV health inequalities are eliminated.”
Lord Collins, who was General Secretary of the Labour Party from 2008 to 2011 and who now sits in the House of Lords as Shadow Spokesperson for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and International Development, commented “I am delighted to welcome Dominic Skinner and Rina Sawayama to the Positive East family joining me as Patrons of the Charity. Both of them have been supporters of the work of Positive East and are brilliant champions of the Charity. I know together we can support Positive East in realising its vision.”
MAC Cosmetics’ Dominic Skinner, who has worked in the beauty industry for 20 years and will be familiar to many as one of the hosts of the BBC’s Glow Up, said “It’s truly an honour to become a patron of Positive East. I have been a supporter of everything they do for over a decade and have seen single-handedly the positive change they have made in the lives of the people of east London.
“I’m very much looking forward to working alongside Rina, Lord Collins and the wonderful people of Positive East, helping to improve the lives and break the stigma of those living with HIV.”
Cambridge educated, Rina Sawayama was born in Japan but raised by her single mother in North London. She released her critically-acclaimed debut album, Sawayama, at the height of the pandemic to much acclaim. Speaking about her appointment, she commented, “I feel so honoured to become a Patron for such an important charity like Positive East.”
“I’ve known their work and been connected to them for many years so it feels especially close to my heart for them to give me this title. The grassroots work that Positive East do is so important to their community and service users and it’s brilliant to see their small team achieve such great results and I can’t wait to be more involved with them in years to come.”
There are around 106,000 people living with HIV in Britain today, around half of whom live in London. Click here to find out more about Positive East’s amazing work and, if you can afford it, to make a donation.