Below are some testimonies from clients who have recently received one or more of Brigstowe’s services recently.
Frank was a client of the Advice Service and also received One-to-One Peer Support in 2016:
Stunned by the whole experience [of being diagnosed with HIV], I was given the details of the Brigstowe Project. It is no exaggeration to say this introduction has positively impacted my life in ways I could not have imagined. The initial phone call I received left me in tears, not from distress but rather the opposite, in realising there was someone ‘out there’ who cared. The sense of not feeling alone, not feeling guilty, not a bad person and above all NOT a worthless individual are all thanks to this organisation.
Miranda has recently started receiving support from the Migrant and Asylum Support Service:
Since I started coming to Brigstowe I have felt more free; free to say anything with confidence and be myself. I can’t do this anywhere else – be myself and talk about HIV. In this way Brigstowe is my home.
Beth has been receiving support from the Migrant and Asylum Service for several years. She is now receiving support through our Support Service and our REACT! Peer Support Group:
Brigstowe has helped me in so many ways and for a number of years, I don’t know where to start. My immigration case was very difficult, I have been trying for many years to get leave to stay in the UK. I have had to go frequently to report at police stations, every time frightened that me and my daughter will be sent home. Brigstowe helped me to find a solicitor who finally found a way for me and my daughter to stay safely in the UK. I don’t believe that I finally have leave [to remain in the UK] – it took so many years – and if you don’t have anyone to support you through that, you can’t do it, you go mad… I would have gone mad.
Jim received One-to-One Peer Support not long after being diagnosed:
Two days ago I have started the medication and I am taking again the control of my life, going to the gym and doing all the things I used to do before. My mentor has been super-supportive and it’s good to know I can count on him, it really cheers me up and doesn’t make me feel alone in facing this.
Ali went to a series of Newly Diagnosed Groups in March this year:
I found all of it valuable. Meeting an amazing, strong and inspiring group of people, hearing how they dealt/struggled with the diagnosis. This in itself makes you feel less isolated. Learning about my rights and the science was all very eye-opening and interesting.