Support for young people and families who are affected by HIV

Young people on canoes at our weekend residential in the Lake District

We work with young people who are affected by HIV. We provide a space where you can talk about HIV in a private environment without being judged.

The service works to:

  • give relevant HIV information
  • offer emotional support
  • support HIV positive children and young people with their medical care
  • reduce isolation
  • address issues such as stigma and discrimination
  • increase self-confidence and self-worth

The service includes group work, one-to-one support, clinic work, consultations with other organisations and disclosure work.

Referrals can come from hospitals, other HIV specialist services, local authorities and through self-referrals. A METRO PPC referral form can be used if there is need to make a referral.

For a young person to access the youth groups, they must be aware of theirs or a family member’s HIV diagnosis. If the young person is not yet aware, then the family can be offered a disclosure service prior to the young person accessing the service.

Crib and Reach Youth Groups

There are two groups each month.

Crib meets on the first Saturday of the month from 12 noon until 5pm at our Vauxhall office.

Reach meets on the third Saturday of the month from 4.30pm until 8pm at Trinity Church in Tooting Bec.

Groups comprise of centre-based sessions to address topics relevant to HIV and other issues affecting young people. These are complemented by outings out with recent visits to the theatre, bowling and the cinema.

Llagorse Residential Trip

In July 2017, 15 young people from our Crib and Reach groups together with 4 METRO staff went on a 5 day residential trip to Llargose in the Brecon Beacons, Wales. The trip was an opportunity for young people to visit somewhere new outside of London, have some respite from their home lives and take part in a variety of outdoor activities offered by the centre.

The group slept in sleeping bags in 'pods' and had a busy daily programme set in the beautiful Welsh countryside, come rain or shine! Days were spent doing activities including kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, raft building, archery, zip wire and hill walking. The young people also participated in lots of team-building activities during the evenings including a quiz, a Snapchat challenge, campfire songs and stories and a scavenger hunt.

The young people thoroughly enjoyed the experience whilst building friendships, learning about teamwork and pushing the boundaries of what they could achieve.

Comments from young people about the positive aspects of the trip included “Conquering fears of heights and insects”, “Spent time with friends” and “Encouraging people and facing new challenges”