Brighton Raise and Give (RaG) society is hosting a charity masquerade ball this weekend to raise money for the Terrence Higgins Trust, a charity which supports people who are currently living with HIV.
The event will be held on Saturday 6th February at the Old Ship Hotel on Kings Road, with doors due to open at 9pm. The night will then run until 2am.The dress code is black tie with a strict ‘no mask, no entry’ policy. Attendees have been told to expect a spectacular evening with a celebrity host and live entertainment from magicians, fire breathers, live music and choreographed dancers. Although early bird tickets have already sold out online, there is still the opportunity to purchase them for a student-friendly £10 at the Students’ Union reception in Cockcroft Building at Moulsecoomb. The second release tickets costing £15 are available online, and once these have sold out the final release ticket price will increase to £20.
The Terrence Higgins Trust was first established in 1982 in honour of Terrence Higgins, one of the first people in the UK to die from AIDS. It has expanded enormously since its humble beginnings in a London flat, and is now the UK’s leading HIV and sexual health charity, providing services to 100,000 people each year. The trust works with lesbian and gay individuals, as well as sex-workers and drug addicts, protecting the people most at risk of contracting HIV. In 2011 it partnered with the Elton John AIDS foundation to form the UK’s first national long term condition management programme for people living with HIV.
Joy Ojukwu, the leader of RaG within Brighton Students’ Union, explained why the group had chosen to raise money for the trust: “With Brighton having one of the highest rates of HIV and AIDS in the UK, and the increasing rise in number of STIs, it has become a source of concern and hence why we chose the Terrence Higgins Trust as the charity of choice to fundraise for.”
The Trust is very involved with the Brighton community. Brighton MPs: Simon Kirby, Peter Kyle and Caroline Lucas,have shown support for the trust, by campaigning for the awareness of HIV in taking a public HIV test last November. Buses in the city carry posters featuring ‘National HIV Testing Week’ Ambassador Dr Christian Jessen. Meanwhile, local barbers and eateries have also publicly shown support for the campaign run by the Terrence Higgins Trust, by wearing the distinctive orange and blue ‘I’m testing’ t-shirts to encourage people; specifically black African men and women, to take a HIV test.