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James Tarling

James Tarling

James Tarling

I currently volunteer on the THT Direct helpline, based in King’s Cross. I do one shift per week, answering a wide range of calls from people with issues regarding HIV.

Following orientation and training, I started volunteering as a Community Support Volunteer in 2011, helping people living with HIV in and around their homes in London. Subsequently I was a mentor on the Work Positive Scheme, assisting someone living with HIV who is long-term unemployed and looking to get back into work.

I have also been involved in fundraising, as a member of the Supper Club committee, organising a fun night of dinner and entertainment for Terrence Higgins Trust supporters, and by helping to put together a one-off film screening event in aid of the charity.

I believe Terrence Higgins Trust plays a critical role in improving the UK’s sexual health and education and in the support of people living with HIV. As a volunteer I see first-hand the benefits the charity brings to people affected by HIV. I continue to learn more about issues surrounding HIV each time I come into the office, as well as getting an insight into the charity’s work elsewhere, including reducing stigma and improving testing rates. Terrence Higgins Trust's volunteers form a key part in providing these benefits and services.

It is particularly fulfilling to be able to come away from a shift on the helpline with a sense that you have directly been able to help someone affected by HIV. This could be in the form of emotional support, providing clarity over transmission or testing, signposting to other specialised assistance or a wide range of other areas.

Each shift brings a wide variety of calls but whatever support or advice you can provide is greatly appreciated.

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