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2016 Roundup

Well 2016 has been quite a year – and, as per last year, I’ve taken the opportunity to reflect and record some of the advocacy work that I’ve done in the last twelve months. Trying to choose a sole image to represent each month has been so very difficult, yet joyful. 2016 – I’ll never forget you.

January
Global Advocate To Watch List
16 Advocates to Watch list published. Read more.
Applied for AIDs 2016 scholarship

February
Interviewed by The Guardian
Read the article here.

March
Interviewed by Radio Lincolnshire
Chatting life, HIV and Think2Speak with Melvyn Prior
Beyond Positive Pub crawl
Drinking and laughing the night away by topping up the heterosexual quota on the Pub Crawl!

April
Awarded AIDS2016 Scholarship
Awarded and accepted full scholarship to AIDS 2016 in South Africa.
International ‘Inspirational Speaker’ 
Flew to Zurich for pharmaceutical company Actelion’s global annual team meeting as their invited ‘Inspirational Speaker’ to share my experiences as an ‘Expert Patient’ to help shape their 2016 plans for PAH patient engagement- read more.

May
£3500 for Macmillan
For the second year, as a family, we organised The Gainsborough Ball raising over £3500 for Macmillan. Ok so not HIV related but a worthy event to mention! Macmillan’s support has, and is currently, helping friends & family get through some very dark days.

June
Crawling & Climbing
A group of us decided to add climbing to crawling pre the second Beyond Positive Pub crawl of the year. It’s fair to say – it wasn’t my forte but watching the boys truly embrace the walls, and crash mats, was a great day!

July
Filmed by the BBC
Watch this space – due out in April 2017…

Trip of a Lifetime – South Africa
Memories & experiences which will last a lifetime. Amazing experiences, brilliant company, and crikey did I meet some amazing people doing truly inspirational work in the fields of HIV/AIDS from every corner of the globe at AIDS2016 South Africa. Read more.

August
Filmed for BBC3
Things Not To Say to Someone Who’s HIV Positive – watch the clip here

September
Accepted Role as 1 of 2 Patient Voices 
NHS England Clinical Reference Group (HIV) Patient and Public Voice – Read more.

October
#T2SLive Conference
When Think2Speak launched in 2015, I decided a conference was a great way to get ‘us’ on the map for 2016. Well we hosted #T2SLive gathering over 200 staff working with young people from all over Lincolnshire and our neighbouring counties to discuss emotional wellbeing. Read more.

November
House of Lords
I was honoured to be Terrence Higgins Trust’s invited speaker, alongside their CEO Ian Green, Lord Fowler and the Health & Innovation Secretary, Nicola Blackwood MP, at the charity’s Annual Parliamentary Reception at The House of Lords. Read more.

December
World AIDS Day
A whirlwind of interviews and articles from Radio4 Today, Standard Issue to London Live amongst others. You can hear part of the Radio4 interview here.

To put it politely, I’ve completed the year exhausted and pensive. Advocacy is only one of the many facets that make up my life, and doing this round up has been a great way to reflect and remember. To lay out some of the amazing opportunities, the things I’ve been able to experience and achieve, and the wonderful people I’ve met, had alongside me and got to know along the way. To each and every one of you, that has supported me, been there for me and believed in me – thank you.

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