As you may be aware, we are proudly supporting Restless Development as our chosen charity for this year. Working with young people at home and in the global South, Restless look to help provide the tools and training to allow people to make a difference in their community, adopting the mantra of “teaching a man to fish”. This invaluable work is making a real, tangible difference to the lives of many directly and then to those around them as they pass on the skills they have learned. A key area of focus for Restless is educating people around HIV and AIDS, teaching people about sexual health, giving them the information they need to stay safe as well as what to do if they do contract HIV. This occurs through sessions in the global south as well as speaker tour across the UK, which is now entering it’s 10th year.
Visiting cities across the UK, including a stop at the Houses of Parliament, the speaker tour brings several individuals who are living with HIV to share their stories in an attempt to humanise and demystify an illness that is shrouded in misinformation and prejudice. Thursday saw the tour stopping in Manchester and it was attended by several members of the Solar team, both as a sign of support for Restless, as well as an opportunity to educate ourselves. We all knew that it would be a powerful evening however I am sure none of us were prepared for just how moving it was. Hearing stories first hand really made what they were saying hit home and really opened our eyes to the injustice and prejudice that comes with HIV. It is safe to say we came away from the evening more aware and educated about the infection, as well as humbled about just how lucky we have things. These talks provide great value to the audience as well as giving an important platform for sufferers to get their story out for others to learn from, which is why we are incredibly happy to be able to support Restless this year. The tour is now winding down, however there are still a few dates left and if you are able to attend we highly recommend it.