West Yorkshire HIV and LGBTQ+ charity celebrates 30-year anniversary and announces new services

West Yorkshire HIV and LGBTQ+ charity The Brunswick Centre celebrate their 30-year anniversary this month.
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They provide a range of services in Calderdale and Kirklees including HIV prevention and support and working with young LGBTQ+ communities. They also provide general information, raise awareness and offer training. The Brunswick Centre mission is to enable people to make informed choices, build healthier relationships and live positive lives free of stigma.

As part of the 30-year anniversary celebrations, new services and updates have been announced including:

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• LGBTQ+ youth work in Calderdale from December 2023 (in addition to the current services provided in Kirklees).

Staff from The Brunswick Centre celebrate the 30-year anniversaryStaff from The Brunswick Centre celebrate the 30-year anniversary
Staff from The Brunswick Centre celebrate the 30-year anniversary

• Six-week workshop for parents and carers of trans young people. Taking place in Huddersfield, the next workshop starts in January 2023.

• A new-look website with details of all services available and how to access them – www.thebrunswickcentre.org.uk.

Employees, trustees, and service users will be reflecting on the history of the charity and looking ahead to new opportunities as part of the anniversary celebrations. In addition, there will be a number of activities taking place to reflect the anniversary on World Aids Day (Thursday 1 December 2022) including distribution of red ribbons in Huddersfield Town Centre with help from The Trans Pennine Travelling Sisters.

30 years of the Brunswick Centre

Batley and Spen MP Kim Leadbeater taking part in testing week with The Brunswick CentreBatley and Spen MP Kim Leadbeater taking part in testing week with The Brunswick Centre
Batley and Spen MP Kim Leadbeater taking part in testing week with The Brunswick Centre
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In 1992 The Brunswick Centre began as Calderdale HIV and AIDS Link (CHAL), formed by community members. When it started working across Kirklees, it became “KCHAL”. The new name of “The Brunswick Centre” was chosen by a service user group because “everywhere has a Brunswick street”, so it was felt to be somewhat more confidential to access services.

The organisation has since grown and now provides a broad range of support to people living with HIV, ensuring they can live healthy lives free of stigma, including access to information, general advice and opportunities for well-being activities such as the allotment and walking groups. They engage with communities most at risk of HIV infection including providing testing. The Brunswick Centre also support people who identify as LGBTQ+ with a number of important activities, campaigns and services including a number of LGBTQ+ youth groups throughout Calderdale and Kirklees.

John McKernaghan, The Brunswick Centre Chief Officer “Initially, communities of people living with HIV were the only groups to mobilise support for people living with (and dying from) the untreatable condition.

"The Brunswick Centre was established as part of the wider realisation of the difference that can be made in terms of prevention and support at a local level.

"Across the past 30 years we have made a real difference for many people living with HIV and in that time treatment and support has changed dramatically. We continue to work towards reducing stigma and increasing awareness.

"We have expanded our work with LGBTQ+ communities with a number of initiatives, including our youth work and counselling services. The Brunswick Centre really is changing lives and changing perceptions. We look forward to what can be achieved in the next 30 years.”