Letter: Funding Aids care

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Sir: Alison Whyte has given your readers an insight into the practical care for people living with HIV-related disease and Aids ('A sprinkling of love to season the take-away', 24 July) provided by one small charity, The Food Chain. While the article has captured the enthusiasm and commitment of our volunteers and the courage and resilience of the users of our service, it gives the impression that we are able successfully to tap into the Government's Aids support grant via the London

boroughs.

It is true that we are working in 25 of the 32 boroughs, often at the request of their social services department. However, of those 25, only eight are actually supporting us financially.

Our situation, unlike our service, is not unique. All of the London-wide Aids charities are having to subsidise local provision because the boroughs can't or won't pay their proportion of the core costs of accommodation, administration and support to charity workers, which they automatically include as overheads in their own budget calculations for council staff.

Yours impecuniously,

MIKE PENNELL

Chair

The Food Chain

London, N1

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