Health Wealth and Happiness (www.tht.org.uk/hwh) is a pilot initiative funded by the Silver Dreams Fund, a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund and the Daily Mail. It caters for people living with HIV who are aged 50 and over, offering a range of free services to support their individual needs.
The project was funded following Terrence Higgins Trust and Age UK’s ground-breaking research 50 Plus, which found that older people with HIV are more likely to be financially disadvantaged and twice as likely to experience other long-term health problems compared to others their age without HIV. As a result, many have serious worries for their future
After an initial assessment, people signed up to Health Wealth and Happiness are paired with a mentor of a similar age, who they meet for one-to-one support on a regular basis. Clients can also attend a number of groups and workshops, set up to provide guidance in areas such as managing finances, expanding their social networks, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. For more complex financial issues, such as welfare benefits, housing and employment, and debt advice, the project has a dedicated worker who can provide advice and undertake casework.
The project is looking for volunteers to fill a number of roles, although it is particularly keen to receive applications for mentors and group facilitators. These roles are open to anyone who is aged 50 or above (whether HIV-positive or HIV-negative), and full training will be provided.
Charlie Witzel, Project Coordinator for Health Wealth and Happiness, said: “Volunteers are at the heart of Terrence Higgins Trust and we would not be able to do the work we do without them. This is such a worthwhile project, and we have lots of volunteering opportunities on offer. In return for giving us your time, we will provide all the training and support you need. Volunteering isn’t just a great chance to make a difference to someone else; it’s also a fantastic way to give back to the community, develop skills and make new friends.”