Enabling children to be part of our regular outing groups throughout their childhood, supports growing well-being, confidence, and friendships. Enabling new experiences, belonging, and opportunities to be physically active and play, all contribute to an experience of thriving.
Creating these consistent opportunities long term helps to overcome limitations that can arise from the common challenges and adversity experienced by children living in families with HIV. We consistently support children in families who are isolated, with experience of bereavement and trauma and the ongoing impact of stigma, financial hardship, and poor physical or emotional health and disabilities.
Providing outings and activities, that begin with volunteers accompanying children from the family home, or meeting in the local community, make participation accessible and confidential, for those who find it hard to access other support services due to ill-health or stigma.
Journeying with the whole family, with compassion and respect, through the ups and downs, strengthens our impact over time. Trained, committed volunteers come alongside children and young people through outings and visits, building relationships of trust where young people are known, supported and encouraged as they grow up. Children aged 0-18 years may join us at any point, for any length of time, but frequently children join us young and remain with us throughout their childhoods until they turn eighteen.
Long-term relational support remains a core distinctive, which along with the opportunities provided, is responsible for the positive impact families report and what is most valued about our service.
“Thank you for the opportunity to go on outings, to try new things, meet new people, and different adventures that they would never have had otherwise. It stops them feeling locked up in the house with Mummy being sad. The children have so many happy memories of trips. It has improved their lives and given them something to talk about at school.” Parent
“He has become more outgoing and it has really brought him out of his shell. He never used to really mingle before, it’s given him the chance to meet other youngsters away from me. Most of his life I’ve not been too well. Before he never wanted to do anything or go out of the house, but now he looks forward to it”. Parent
"Visits also gave them a head start to coping after their mother's death". Parent
"Both the children and I have become more trusting and made lifelong friends" Parent
History and team:
We have been alongside supporting families living with HIV in East London since 2004.
An east London branch of 'Grandma's Charity' was established in response to the needs of a large number of families living with HIV in the area and the commitment of a small group of volunteers. The work continued under a separate charitable identity and took the new name of 'Alongside You' in 2009.
Our service director has worked with families with HIV in London for over 20 years and established the work in East London. She is passionate about journeying with children and families through the ups and downs, and equipping volunteers to get alongside and make a difference. Working together with a dedicated outings coordinator, a committed group of Trustees, and a diverse team of volunteers enables us to provide support to children and families across East London. We have supported over 160 families and trained 150 volunteers.