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Launching on 28th June 2021, and coinciding with both Pride month and the 30th anniversary of the HIV charity, Patrick McDowell and Positive East are proud to announce a special collaboration to celebrate the incredible staff members providing much needed support to people living with HIV in East London wearing Patrick’s most recent collection – Catholic Fairytales.

Both Patrick and Positive East wanted to use this opportunity to spotlight the fantastic people providing the life changing support received by so many people living with and affected by HIV in East London. In 2021, the charity’s 30th year, the shoot is a celebration of how far we have come since the AIDS epidemic of the early 80s, an acknowledgement that there is still work to be done and a demonstration that Positive East is proud to support the HIV+ community. 

Key services.

Each of the Positive East staff members photographed in this collaboration are instrumental in delivering their key services, including providing free rapid HIV tests in the local community, supporting those living with HIV and organising fundraising events that bring in the donations needed to continue their services. 

Positive East staff members are experts in their field, continually tailoring and redeveloping their projects and activities to best serve the ever-changing needs of those who need support. This, along with the diversity of backgrounds, beliefs and walks of life that make up their team, is directly linked to the strength of the services they offer.

Meet the team.

  • Alex – Fundraising & Communications Officer – Connecting with people, businesses and community groups in East London to rally support and raise much needed funding for Positive East’s services while overseeing the charity’s social media presence and online messaging.
  • Euriza – GMI HIV Prevention Support Worker – Supporting people through providing free, rapid and confidential HIV testing to improve their sexual health.
  • Gloria – HIV Prevention & Testing Coordinator – Connecting with African communities in East London to provide free HIV testing, condoms and sexual advice while delivering training sessions to local organisations to increase knowledge of HIV.
  • Greg – Peer Support Officer – Providing emotional and practical support for people living with HIV with a team of volunteer peer mentors to help them live happy, meaningful lives.
  • Ian – Head of Fundraising & Communications – Leading the team to bring in the donations the charity needs to continue delivering our services while managing our external communications and overseeing our flagship fundraising events.
  • Maria – Volunteer Manager – Acting as the first port of call for anyone interested in joining Positive East as a volunteer and working together to devise roles that meet different needs and skillsets while supporting us to deliver our work.
  • Massimo – HIV Prevention & Testing Coordinator – Providing free HIV testing, condoms and sexual advice to gay men and MSM, ensuring all have the knowledge of and access to resources to manage their sexual health.
  • Renee – GMI Partnership Manager – Ensuring that people’s health and well-being are championed (regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity) through taking a more holistic approach to HIV prevention, sexual health and LGBT+ strategic equalities.
  • Resty – Peer Support Officer – Registering new service users, developing bespoke support plans and working closely with our existing service users to ensure they are provided ongoing support to manage their diagnosis and live well with HIV.
  • Sinuo – Graphic Designer – Creating engaging images and graphics to promote the charity online and encouraging people to access our services and support our work through clear accessible messaging.
  • Tina – Advice & Information Caseworker – Supporting people living with HIV to address and overcome a variety of issues including poverty, financial hardship and housing instability.

Incredible roles.

Patrick McDowell commented, “Positive East and their staff change lives. They provide services that are vital to the community of East London.  I wanted to celebrate all of the incredible roles that make up the Positive East team.  

“Modern Fashion design is more than only clothing, it must also stand for something. When I created this collection Catholic Fairytales it was clear to me that it must also support those doing incredible work for the queer community and beyond and Positive East is doing just that.” 

Director of HIV charity Positive East, Mark Santos, added,“To partner with such an exciting designer such as Patrick was a real delight for the charity and a fantastic opportunity for our team to have fun and acknowledge the work that the charity has achieved and continues to achieve.  The reality is that without the skills and insight of each of these individuals, we would not be able to support those affected by HIV so effectively.  We have much to celebrate and I thank Patrick for bringing his vision and imagination to showcase our team in this incredible way.”

Visit Positive East here.

Read Rob Harkavy’s review of HIV/AIDS drama It’s A Sin here.

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