Future of closure-threatened charity secured

Hiv

HIV Scotland has received a new funding commitment after an initial knock-back by the Scottish Government

20th September 2018 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

The future of a charity that had faced a fight for survival has been secured.

HIV Scotland was setup almost a quarter of a century ago and since then has delivered substantial changes in policy and practice across the country to help those affected by the condition.

However, the organisation was knocked by in an application for its annual funding by the Scottish Government in June, with half of its staff having left amid fears that it may not survive.

However the government has now confirmed that it will provide £231,000 to HIV Scotland over the next three years to help the organisation move towards becoming financially sustainable.

Public health minister Joe FitzPatrick said: “The Scottish Government has agreed to offer HIV Scotland £231,000 over the next three years. This funding will support the organisation to move to a sustainable financial position.

“The Scottish Government’s grant offer to HIV Scotland brings the total financial support for third sector organisations working in organisations working to address the issues associated with sexual health and blood borne viruses in Scotland to£2.13 million in the period 2018-21.”

HIV Scotland chairwoman Nicoletta Policek welcomed the announcement. She said: “We’re pleased to have reached an agreement with the Scottish Government to contribute to our core operating costs.

“This new, arms-length relationship with the government will allow us to develop new relationships with other funders to secure a sustainable future, whilst continuing our award winning work which protects the human rights of people living with and at risk of HIV.”

Liberal Democrat MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton, who campaigned to save the charity, said: “The Scottish Government understands that the charity is globally recognised and respected and that it still has an important contribution to make, particularly given that HIV is growing in Scotland and that 13% of Scots who carry the virus don’t know they do.

“This rescue package will allow the charity to continue its vital work and move to a more sustainable financial position going forward.”