Support for young people living with HIVBy Body and Soul
Beyond Boundaries (BB) offers support to people living with HIV – an initiative of Body & Soul, a leading British HIV charity. The project is supported by Nesta’s Centre for Social Action Innovation Fund, mobilising people’s energy and talents to help each other.
BB is mainly for people aged 15–30. The project aims to form a peer network, using free and available technologies such as Skype, texts and phone/video calls to enable people to access support whenever it’s needed. The network offers online materials, gathered and designed by peer groups, as well as contact with social workers and professional counsellors.
Body & Soul set up BB in November 2014 with an award geared towards replicating an earlier successful face-to-face peer mentoring programme. Since then, 221 young people across 58 boroughs/counties have joined BB, and Body & Soul is able to bring support to a total of 500 through the programme.
There’s clear evidence of the need for projects such as BB. Even in inner cities, where other initiatives have existed for a while, BB has seen incredible benefits from bringing peer networking, advocacy and counselling to HIV sufferers. The ability to speak to volunteers – many of whom understand what life is like with HIV – and schedule follow-up calls has led to close engagement through the removal of traditional barriers.
Beyond Boundaries is looking to help more young people. There’s a sign-up and a referral form on their website, everything is confidential, and the team will be in touch to arrange a first conversation to see how BB can help.
Image 'Love Project' courtesy of Miguel Bohigas Costabella.
Last updated: 14th of September, 2015