Cash lifelines for struggling St Albans charity

The Crescent, Russell Avenue, St Albans.  Head of operations Ian Murtagh with administrator Fran Murtagh,

The Crescent, Russell Avenue, St Albans. Head of operations Ian Murtagh with administrator Fran Murtagh,

Archant

A struggling charity has been given a much needed helping hand thanks to donations of thousands of pounds from the county and district councils.

St Albans-based HIV charity The Crescent received money from the locality budgets of several Herts county councillors, as well as £5,000 from St Albans district council community fund, all totalling more than £11,500.

More generous donations are still expected to come, but the consistent support from Cllr Chris White, who offered £1,500 of his £10,000 budget, was highlighted by the charity.

Iain Murtagh, head of operations at The Crescent, said: “Chris has been very supportive when we’ve gone through difficult times.

“The other councillors have also been helpful. We are so grateful for all of their support.”

Cllr White said: “I am always happy to continue supporting the excellent work that The Crescent does in St Albans and the surrounding areas in supporting those with HIV and AIDS.”

Other donations came from Cllrs Geoff Churchard, Nigel Bell, Aislinn Lee, Stephen Giles-Medhurst, Maureen Cook, and Ron Tindall.

The district council’s community fund has donated £71,000 to local causes, with £5,000 awarded to The Crescent.

Iain stressed why their support is so important: “HIV is still much stigmatised and people who have it are often very withdrawn,” he said.

“If there wasn’t a place like this to go to, then they wouldn’t know where else to go.

“It is essential we support the people living with it, if not to physically and mentally help them, but to educate them and others about HIV.”

Any donation is regarded as important to the charity, “any amount, big or small”, Iain said. The next step is to try and secure permanent funding, as the charity often comes in danger of closing.

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