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TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
2011/2012 marks 21 years of fundraising by the British Theatre community for people living with, and affected by, HIV/AIDS.
Despite the changing names of the organisation from West End Cares to Theatrecares, and now TheatreMAD (The Make A Difference Trust), the creativity, energy, resoluteness, passion, and compassion remain at the very heart and soul of our fundraising community.
Since the organisation began, we have been proud and honoured to stand side by side with our friends on Broadway, and are constantly grateful to everyone at Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS for providing us with the aspiration and inspiration, and for their generosity and support.
Over 21 years ago AIDS had a devastating affect on the theatre industry, and beyond. Perhaps Tom Viola; Executive Director of Broadway Cares puts it best when he says
“The epidemic had taken a staggering number of people from our community. People infected and affected by the virus lived in fear and desperate sadness, too often isolated and alone. For those of you too young to know anything of the disease other than today’s medications and services count yourselves lucky. It was indeed worse than anything you can imagine.
So here we are 21 years later. For many, AIDS seems to be a manageable disease – IF you have access to services and support and IF you can count on friends, family and loved ones who understand that you have contracted a virus, not taken on a shameful secret. If not, then it may as well be 1990.
But it all began with and for those living with AIDS; men, women and children we will never forget or abandon, even as other crises warrant our additional attention, good will and assistance; the AIDS epidemic does not rage in the same way it did prior to 1990. But it still goes on.”
The Make a Difference Trust is extremely proud of the support that it has provided, and the opportunities that it has given, to the many organisations that provide support and services to thousands of people living with HIV/AIDS both in the UK and South Africa. Furthermore, we are also particularly proud of how our mission has changed to support those in the Industry with the establishment of The Next Stage – A Back to Work Programme; helping those in our industry that are affected by long term medical conditions.
We come together today to remember so many who have gone before us, to celebrate how far we’ve come and to recommit to reaching beyond ourselves and ensure that in 2011 and beyond all are embraced in times of isolation and need.
Undoubtedly there will be challenges ahead. But with your help, The Make A Difference Trust remains a haven for those struggling or in crisis and a home for anyone who wants to do something about it.
Thank you each and every one of you for your support and generosity. We simply could not do what we do without you.
One small gesture makes one big difference. Together we can Make A Difference.
David Pendlebury Chairman