Body & Soul members are people living with HIV: being either HIV+ themselves or affected by HIV. Being â€œaffected by HIVâ€? means having a close family member or partner who is HIV+. Most members come to Body & Soul after being referred by healthcare providers, social workers, friends, other voluntary organisations or after finding us online.
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The greatest single thing is finding peers, finding people you can relate to, and in a place that feels safe and optimistic. Becoming a member of Body & registration process. If you have Soul is free. a child or children, we can also register them at this time. You can either call us directly +44 (0)207 923 6880, or email us on The new-member registration lasts firstname.lastname@example.org, or about 40 minutes. The registration have a trusted person (such as a process helps in several ways: it healthcare advisor or social worker) gives you information about Body call us. & Soul and our programmes; it gives you a one-on-one time Once you have made that first where you can discuss any issues contact, we will ask you a couple that are currently concerning you of short questions (which are and we connect you to a peer confidential) and schedule a time mentor, who will help show you for you to come into Body & around. During registration, we Soul. Then, we will complete the will also go over the house rules,
which all of our members have agreed to. These rules ensure everyone (including you) feels safe and that our environment is non judgemental and confidential. Once registration is complete, you are a member of Body & Soul. You will be able to come into any of our Tuesday services; access our complementary therapies, legal support and advice clinic; and hopefully develop new friendships that travel with you on your own personal journey.
Our centre Our centre is a safe, understanding and optimistic place based in Clerkenwell, London. We are accessible by public transport, with Angel and Farringdon being the nearest tube stations. the wellbeing floor Ever since we started Body & Soul way back when in 1996, our concern for overall wellness has always been at the heart of what we do. The wellbeing Centre on the 2nd Floor of the building is dedicated to doing this on a more one-to-one level. Here we can guide you through the library and provide you with up-to-date information on all aspects of managing HIV, including: – How to manage your treatment – Improving your immune system – HIV and Transmission – Pregnancy – Emotional health – Counselling – How to handle any treatment side effects Complementary therapies can help play an important role in your wellness too. We offer a range of therapies including; Holistic Massage, Reflexology, Hypnotherapy, and Yoga, all of which help to boost the immune system and reduce stress levels. All of our therapists are fully qualified and fully insured volunteers.
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A complete approach At Body & Soul we treat each person as an individual and tailor our services to meet your unique practical, emotional and physical needs
Central to our approach is the belief that our emotional and physical health is interconnected. Both need care and attention to transform living with HIV.
Emotional & Physical Support We recognise that emotional & physical support is critical to overall wellbeing. and provide this in a number of ways. ranging from informal one-to-one or small and large group support to a more structured approach including counselling, peer mentoring, and individualised therapies. peer support is at the core of all of our programmes. From the minute you register at Body & Soul, you will be partnered with a peer mentor. We believe in providing a space that enables growth and learning from one another.
therapeutic support includes our counselling service. This is provided as part of the Tuesday evening adult programme. All counsellors are fully qualified, supervised and registered with the BACP (a professional body for counsellors).
physical health at Body & Soul extends beyond an HIV diagnosis. We promote good physical health through sessions on nutrition, yoga, dance, relaxation and complementary therapies We additionally provide small and large group support around the workshops are delivered on a You can see the counsellor for an following physical health themes: wide range of issues by a team of introductory session, which gives professionals. Themes include: you a chance to meet them, and to Medication Adherence get a sense of what counselling is Coping with treatment side Stress & Relaxation before you make any commitment. effects Goal Setting If you would like to continue, we Pain & Stress Management usually agree to meet for 12 weekly Family and communication Ageing & HIV sessions, although sometimes Managing the impact of Pregnancy & HIV that varies depending on your depression. Sexual Health circumstances. Sexual Function
Practical Support Body & Soul benefits from a highly experienced team who can support individuals and families with a wide range of issues including welfare advice, benefits, housing issues, financial hardship, legal advice and knowing your rights. We can also advocate for you with external agencies (such as educational and social services) and make quality onward referrals for specialist support. Areas that Body & Soul can provide practical support with include: written support: Body & Soul can advocate for you on a range of issues such as immigration, housing and education. casework: Body & Soul may be able to help with more complex and long term casework. This could include supporting parents,
children and young people to work with social services; helping those with leave to remain in the UK to understand the system and their entitlements; domestic violence issues; homelessness and housing issues.
to other specialists. Members also gain assistance with accessing legal aid. Issues raised are diverse and include: family law (custody and access, adoption, child support), housing, immigration, medical negligence and discrimination.
A weekly advice clinic is provided by our social work team.
knowing your rights: A theme running through all the casework at Body & Soul includes providing members with the information and skills to enable you to assert your rights and recognise if you ever experience discrimination. This could be in relation to:
hardship grants: If members are going through a particularly difficult time financially, Body & Soul may be able to apply for a small grant. legal clinic: This monthly service enables members of Body & Soul to gain free initial consultation on any issue that is of concern to them. Lawyers from Hogan Lovells LLP, Wilsonâ€™s and ITV are able to take on cases themselves, act as advocates or refer people
Healthcare Social services Education services Employment Any other service provider Friends, family, partners and the wider community.
The Tuesday Adult Support Group The Adult Support Group is on a Tuesday evening between 4.30 â€“ 8.30pm. During this time there is a chance to meet other members, share a hot nutritious meal and access the many workshops, courses and other therapeutic services available. Workshops and courses cover a variety of topics, including: managing treatment; coping with stress; health and nutrition; and relationships.
We refuse to let HIV decide who we are Our programming enables people to develop skills that help maximise their potential. Programmes include: personal development: We run regular courses and workshops focusing on self esteem and confidence building. The aim is to enable people to find their own solutions and increase confidence and awareness of their own skills. employability: Barriers to employment are overcome by providing tailored individual and group sessions on job-search topics including: internet job searches, writing effective cover letters and CVs, interviewing, application support, and career planning. As part of this process, we address workplace issues for people living with HIV such as explaining job absences, gaps in employment, and disability.
practical workshops: We run regular workshops targetted at helping make practical aspects of your life easier, samples course include: Navigating benefits and housing systems in the UK Using the internet for Practical Needs HIV and your Rights Budgeting and Money management Recovering from Debt english classes: We run courses for members who have English as a second language (ESOL). Our facilitator is an experienced ESOL practitioner who is able to build on membersâ€™ existing knowledge and
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Body & Soul is an Open College Network provider and is able to provide accredited courses for members
successfully work with people who have varying levels of English.
Additional courses are always being added based on membersâ€™ interests.
Body & Soul members are made up of all different ages, backgrounds and experiences. To ensure we meet these needs, we provide dedicated space for the following groups: age and gender-specific groups: Body & Soul has a life-course approach to member services and recognises that people need different things at different points of their lives. For this reason, we regularly run gender and age-specific workshops. The content of these workshops is determined and led by members, with relevant experts contributing to the work when appropriate. There are several benefits to running smaller, specialised groups. Since some members do not feel comfortable disclosing private information around people who are significantly younger or older, this gives a safe forum to discuss sensitive topics. Similarly, for many members discussing issues such as sexuality or emotions in front of persons of different genders may be culturally inappropriate. These small groups allow members to further explore specific issues and provide a unique small-group community environment. One of the age-specific groups we run is young adults. This service is primarily for adults aged 20-28, and covers relevant topics such as sex and relationships, HIV treatment and health management, self-esteem and body image, and future-planning, including employment and education. This service runs regularly and provides the crucial information
needed for a successful transition into adulthood and adult services. We also run an older adults group, which deals with wellbeing-related issues that arise during the ageing process. bravehearts is a monthly group for couples who are currently in relationships, facilitated by a couple who are members of Body & Soul. The purpose is to support both partners in the relationship, promote open communication and also raise awareness that relationships whether mixed status or not can work long-term.
parents of positive children group: This is a monthly group for parents whose children are living with HIV, facilitated by a member who has experience of caring for an HIV+ child. Members of the group benefit from being able to meet other parents who are in the same situation and share their practical and emotional experiences and strategies. Topics have included issues with schooling and education - for example filling in medical forms and schools trips; disclosing a child’s status to school; children’s health; starting medication; disclosure and the psychological impact HIV has on children.
“I met another mother from the group who has since become such a support, she gives me confidence and advice about what she did when her daughter started medication. We get so much support from each other. The connection between us is very special and they are the only ones who know what I am going through” Sarah
Trust yourself, you know more than you think
Parenting For families affected by HIV, parenting often takes place under very difficult circumstances, which makes these choices and options even harder. Body & Soul offers support to parents/carers to enable them to ensure their children have security and protection, firm guidance and access to learning opportunities. This includes peer support, support with talking to children about HIV, practical help (with housing, benefits, and immigration issues), meeting emotional needs and skills courses. Our approach focuses on identifying the strengths in families which will promote affection, communication about HIV and the best outcomes for children’s futures. In addition to individualised and family parenting support, we also provide small and large group workshops that promote parenting skills and confidence.
It is difficult being a parent and always knowing what to do for the best, for your children.
All courses cover basic parenting challenges which HIV can magnify. Some sample courses include: Baby Massage - using basic massage to help bond with and soothe your baby Parenting Skills 101 - a short course covering topics like disclipline, boundries, nutrition, single parenting & creative play. Supporting your Child’s education - ways to promote learning and make the most of your child’s educationial experience. Talking about HIV to children and teens - ways to build confidence in discussing HIV with your family. In addition to parenting courses, Body & Soul also has ageappropriate specialist services for children, allowing them to build skills, confidence, and friendships in a safe environment. On Tuesday nights, there are three
specialised children’s groups: 0-3 Years Old 3-9 Year Olds 10-12 Year Olds (BaSe- The Body & Soul Experience) Tuesday night children’s services do not discuss HIV. On Thursday nights, Body & Soul runs the following specialised programmes for young people: Teen Spirit - a weekly group for teens aged 13-19 who are aware of how HIV impacts them or their family BaSe Aware - a monthly group for young people aged 10-12 who are aware of how HIV impacts them or their family. For more information about children’s services, please contact Body & Soul.
Useful Information Here are some other important things that are useful to know about the general running of Body & Soul. dinnertime: A hot nutritious meal is always on offer between 6 – 7pm during Tuesday night sessions. For those of you who are able to make a donation towards the cost of a meal, any contribution you feel you can make is very much All members with children under appreciated. 12 will be able to access transport transport cover: If you would like support for homeward journeys. to request transport cover, please condoms: We distribute free call and speak to a member of staff. condoms for members. We can reimburse bus/tube fares for teenagers, asylum seekers and so what do you think? We respect others on low incomes. There may and welcome any feedback on your be other exceptional circumstances time spent with us at Body & Soul. that require taxis and these will be Only by knowing where we go right decided on a case-by-case basis. or wrong will we be able to provide All members will be individually you with the quality service that assessed for taxi priority through you deserve. All reviews, thoughts the following criteria: and opinions are gladly welcomed. – If you’re unable to use public transport due to mobility or disability – Unaccompanied minors
getting in touch: If you would like to find out more, have a chat over the phone, or come in and register, please give us a call.
t: +44(0)20 7923 6880, email email@example.com
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