John Sessions supporting St Albans HIV centre

ACTOR John Sessions is throwing his weight behind a campaign to keep a vital HIV support centre in St Albans open.

He says he has been inspired by the work of The Crescent on Russell Avenue to support a community often overlooked, and says he is putting all his energy into helping them find much-needed funding.

John, who frequently appeared on Whose Line is it Anyway? and also starred in Sherlock, said the centre was against the clock when it came to funding.

He said: “They need one or two considerable benefactors, although any donations will keep them in place and providing the vital services for those living with HIV.

“I’m approaching people, friends, with the hope of getting them to support The Crescent. The work they are doing doesn’t just prolong life, it greatly improves the quality of life of its service users and it is them that stand to lose if The Crescent does close next month.”

The former resident of St Albans said many people now believed HIV was a thing of the past thanks to the development of drugs but it was still a struggle for many who were living with the disease.

He added: “The Crescent provides so many people with a safe place, one where they can just be. To let this close would be devastating.”

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John, who attended Verulam School, met with representatives from The Crescent last month when they appealed to members of parliament at the House of Lords. The team, led by head of operations Iain Murtagh, were launching their Healthy Futures appeal to secure funding.

But despite the prospect of future funding and grants that may be forthcoming, The Crescent announced last month that dwindling funds meant they would have to cut back services in June and possible closure in July.

Iain said: “We are all very thrilled and extremely grateful to have the support of such a notable figure as John Sessions. We feel that with the support of such a well-known, and much-loved public figure, we will be able to bring this dreadful situation to the attention of a much wider audience. We thank John for his support, and are very much looking forward to working together on our campaign.”

Over 300 people use The Crescent.