SASH employs a number of professionals who have vast experience working with HIV throughout our services, including counselling, complementary therapies and a group work program. SASH have listened to the community and responded with HIV specific professionals and activities. We welcome service user input and suggestions. We also recognise the challenges faced by people living long term with HIV and specifically for the over 50s.
We are active in reaching out to the community through health promotion, challenging stigma and supporting those at risk to access testing in a way that suits them.
There are services available at a number of venues across the three boroughs and residents can nominate a preferred location across our satellites and main hubs to meet with SASH workers. We have a programme of activity across our hubs and, SASH will continue to strive to meet the needs of residents by developing new initiatives across the boroughs. If you live out of area, SASH will sign post or refer you to local provision.
We promote inclusion, challenge stigma and prejudice and advocate on behalf of people living with and affected by HIV. We also offer complementary therapies, counselling and groups for people living with HIV and work with other providers and existing community services to offer support around health, wellbeing and other opportunities.
The service is open to all residents of the three boroughs. We will specifically be supporting people living with HIV, women and girls sexual reproductive health, people at risk of STI infection, young people and families. Our service is accessible and boasts many representatives from the community, including Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) and Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups and Disabled communities.
We already have great links with a number of different agencies and communities including Spanish and Portuguese speaking and faith based groups including Muslim and Christian, Sex Workers and those newly diagnosed and those living long term with HIV. SASH have links with Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT), Children, Adult, Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and General Practitioners (GPs) and a number of additional partner agencies and charities. Our faith lead is working in community to test for HIV and raise awareness with community leaders and cohorts.
We are already supporting residents around FGM and all survivors of FGM are welcome to work with the SASH service. We currently have a counsellor placed at the FGM maternity clinic at Chelsea Westminster Hospital and our partner NAZ have particular experience of supporting people affected by FGM.
We have an holistic approach in providing sexual health and wellbeing support and, invite all residents with sexual health concerns or conditions to meet with SASH. We recognise the specific challenges for people over 50 who are living with HIV and our full complement of services are available to those individuals. We also refer into our partner agencies NAZ, London Friend and Metro who deliver groups for older people.
Because of the combined experience and skill of the team we can offer tailored support to all individuals, including older people. A number of older people are already accessing SASH services- ie counselling, mindful lunch, HIV support group and are also attending a wider network of provision including NAZ and METROs groups for older people living with HIV.
SASH works alongside partners such as Age UK and is working towards offering specialist support for the 50+ community living with HIV, as we recognise that many need additional support at this time in their lives.
We have appointed a dedicated trainer who will coordinate training for professionals as well as service user groups and peer mentors. A cornerstone of our programme is based on an Asset Based Community Development model that will enable service users to volunteer or pay forward into their communities, by capitalising on the skills and resources they already have and developing new abilities, which could lead to, paid work opportunities.
SASH provides residents with a single contact number and referral point for accessing all of our services. Residents can select preferred SASH sites to access a range of health and wellbeing initiatives, to support their holistic health goals. Our various satellite and main hubs are offering a growing timetable of regular activities across the three boroughs. Our dedicated care coordinators and health and wellbeing coaches, support residents to attend groups and wellbeing initiatives.