My Week

Kath Morgan, positive speaker coordinator, George House Trust

Kath Morgan
Kath Morgan

Monday - After being kept up most of the night by my adorable (but not at 3am) new puppy Martha, the thought of delivering a full day's training is a little daunting. It's the last day of core training for the new intake of our positive speakers - service-users who go out to share their personal experiences of living with HIV with groups and organisations in order to raise awareness and combat HIV-related stigma.

The day goes a lot more smoothly than I had expected, although I must admit I shed a few tears. Today the speakers are asked to put all they have learnt into practice and present their personal testimonies for the first time. Everyone's experience is so unique that, even after hearing many people's stories, each new one still moves me. Fortunately, my partner knew what today would be like and has bought in some M&S treats for dinner.

Tuesday - I spend the morning evaluating the training course and planning the next steps for the new speakers. Trying to juggle everyone's availability is not easy. In the afternoon, I draft the plan for our new positive media volunteering project, drawing inspiration from similar schemes run by other charities that deal with stigmatising illnesses. It's someone's birthday in the office, and that means one thing - chocolate cake all round.

Wednesday - Today is planning day: for our national HIV social care conference next year and for our positive speakers' Secrets and Lives event during Manchester Pride this August - an evening of personal perspectives on living with HIV at a local comedy club.

I'm a big fan of dreaming up plans and schemes, so this is quite an enjoyable day for me. Venues are booked, themes decided and speakers lined up - well, for the most part. We've decided to line up some musical acts for the Secrets and Lives event too. It's a good job Manchester has politically aware musicians in droves.

Thursday - Martha has me up in the night again, and it's worse this time - she's started the cat off, who is extremely freaked out by the strange nocturnal noises. Good times. So I am quite tired, but still geared up for today's activities. My main task is to finish off an evaluation report on the effect of our positive speakers on the 600 or so audience members who have been at our sessions over the past nine months.

Friday - The end of the week, and the end of the evaluation report. It goes off to the designers and I am free to stop looking at spreadsheets - for a while, at least. The good news is that it works. Well, we knew that anyway, but now we have it in cold, hard statistics.

Positive speakers change attitudes and reduce stigma, and are also generally all-round fabulous people - maybe the statistics don't say that, but I do.

The Manchester-based George House Trust supports people living with and affected by HIV

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