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HIV respite plan shelved as recession hits

Thu 18 Dec 2008 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback View at NDHA

Funding cuts are hitting HIV+ support group Body Positive and services next year will have to be cut, says its manager. "Already a planned Residential Respite Project to provide much needed respite care has been deferred until further notice," says Body Positive's manager Bruce Kilmister. Since the much loved Herne Bay House was closed by the City Mission in 2004, there has been a great need for a dedicated HIV care space, but now that gap will not be filled, he says. "As a sign of the economic times, ASB Charitable Trusts, who dispersed $33 million in the 2008 year, have indicated the 2009 amount will be reduced. "Already Body Positive has had wages funding halved for a full-time employee and will now receive a half annual salary for that position." Auckland City Council's Community Support Fund has also been reduced by $1 million – which will impact Body Positive's funding for rent, Kilmister adds. "But most surprisingly of all is the announcement from Heroic Gardens that all proceeds from the upcoming annual garden tour will go to Hospice Auckland. "Body Positive has in the past received generous funding from Heroic Gardens and it is a blow to not receive funds from a gay organisation in these hard economic times when other funding is drying up." contacted the Heroic Gardens Committee about their 2009 funding decision, but initially they would not comment (see update below). The Queen of the Whole Universe pageant this year raised $11,000 for Body Positive.   UPDATE: Geoffrey Marshall, a previous chair of the Heroic Gardens organising committee - and whose garden has been regularly opened for the fundraiser - has now explained that since the closure of Herne Bay House several years ago the beneficiaries of the funds raised have been reconsidered each year.   "The decision to direct funds this year to Auckland Hospice arose from a meeting of the organisers and many of the people who regularly open their gardens," he explains.   Marshall adds that although Body Positive had received some of the proceeds from the last two Festivals, he was surprised that they would assume that any funds would again go to them as he did not believe that they had been given any reason to expect that this was an on-going commitment.    

Credit: Daily News Staff

First published: Thursday, 18th December 2008 - 6:12pm

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