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 © Tagadere

Registered Charity 1129416

tagadere tagadere

 © Tagadere

Registered Charity 1129416

December 2014

Tagadere’s joyful Christmas Party

On Wednesday 17th December another fantastic Tagadere Christmas Party enthralled and entertained everyone who attended. The doorbell pealed endlessly to announce yet more people eager to join in the festive revelry.

Friends from near and afar joined to make a wonderfully empowering day where we celebrated the unity and friendship which epitomises the word Tagadere meaning ‘together’. 

Once more it was standing room only and more chairs were needed to so that we could all fit in to enjoy the delicious and plentiful feast which was provided by Tagadere members who all pulled together because that is what we do. We are there for each other.  Tagadere means ‘together’.

After lunch, our now-traditional ‘Tagadere Disco Pass The Parcel’ created such hilarity and happiness that it was a joy to behold; amidst the minor chaos of flying wrapping paper a rousing rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ was performed for one of our members whose birthday is two days after our party. 

All at Tagadere are proud of the support which we provide to the extremely diverse HIV population of Nottingham. We are often told that our enduring success is attributed to the fact that we are volunteer-run and uniquely user-led. Because we are an independent group we decide how Tagadere operates, nobody else. Tagadere works because it comes from within; a sterling example of ‘people power’. 

We resume our weekly drop-in on Wednesday 7th January 2015 and would like to thank a long list of people who have recognised the importance and value of Tagadere and who have championed and supported us during the past 12 months.

World AIDS Day 2014: Tagadere radio interview

On Monday 1st December a Tagadere volunteer was interviewed live on BBC Radio Nottingham shortly after 10 a.m. 

The interview was to also feature Dr Ahmed from Nottingham City Hospital but unfortunately at the last minute this was not possible. Our Tagadere representative stepped in to extend her interview which was conducted with an admirable aplomb, exploding many lingering preconceptions surrounding HIV. 

We would like to thank Radio Nottingham presenter Mark Dennison for handling the interview with such sensitivity and for helping to raise awareness of HIV and Tagadere.  Since the interview we have received numerous telephone calls, text messages and e-mails from people wishing to know more information about HIV and how to receive peer support from us. 

Click here to read the interview.

The Fabulous Tagadere World AIDS Day 2014 Craft Fair

Our eagerly-awaited event to publicly mark World AIDS Day 2014 was a fabulous success with a great attendance of 21 stalls displaying myriad imaginative, unique and stunningly diverse creations. 

Tagadere is a volunteer run, user-led group and therefore it was great to see so many of our extensive ‘Tagadere Family’ making special efforts to come along to the craft fair in order to show support and to help out; not only as individuals but bringing their friends and families.

NottsTV approached Tagadere a short time before the doors opened to the public as they wished to film an interview with a Tagadere member and also to capture the busy atmosphere of the stalls setting up. 

We would like to thank the many Tagadere supporters who used Facebook to share the details and the poster; also utilising Twitter to tweet, retweet and re-retweet.

November 2014

Get ready: Tagadere’s World AIDS Day 2014 Craft Fair

Preparations for our event to mark World AIDS Day 2014 are well under way. We have over 20 stalls presenting a myriad array of unique, homemade magnificence. Hot food, an amazing prize raffle and of course, red ribbons are available from the Tagadere information stand.

Hot food and drink will be available to purchase.

Prize raffle  drawn at 4 pm.


Date: Saturday 29th November 2014

Time: 1-5pm

Venue: Sherwood United Reform Church,1 Edwards Lane, NG3 3AA.

Buses: 40,42, 87, 88, 89 from the city stop right outside. 

Some of the incredible goodies for sale include:

stained glass • handmade jewellery • gift bags • applique • leather pouches • photography • handmade bears • crocheted bootees • decorated gift boxes • handmade bath and shower products • baby, children’s and women’s clothing • felted items • cards and candles • locally milled flour from Green’s Mill • handmade organic gardening equipment • handmade ceramics • homemade cheesecakes • hand knitted kindle covers • hand made cushions • hair slides • jams • chutneys • biscuits and chocolates…and much, much more!

This is your chance to wear a red ribbon to show your support for people living with HIV not only here in Nottingham but all over the world.


We’re still gratefully accepting donations for the prize raffle; if you have anything which you feel will be suitable, please drop a line to or telephone 07766 800 514

If you don’t have a way of getting larger donations to us,

we’ll be pleased to arrange for someone to collect.

Tagadere on the front page of QB (again!)

Our Fabulous World AIDS Day event is featured on the front page of the latest edition of QB which is produced by The Nottinghamshire Rainbow Heritage.

October 2014

Tagadere World AIDS Day 2011 balloon was found three years later in Finland!

On 7th October we received an e-mail from Helena who lives in Kylmäkoski, near Tampere in Finland to say that whilst she and her sister were out picking mushrooms they found one of the fifty labelled balloons released from Tagadere commemorating World AIDS Day 2011.

The discovery of our balloon almost three years since it floated into the blue sky above Nottingham and its final fall to Earth approximately 1,587 miles from our drop-in shows that this is (so far) the furthest distance which one of our balloons has travelled.

We thank Helena to taking the trouble to write to us from Finland which shows that Tagadere and our achievements reach even further than we thought. 

(We would like to point out that we no longer release balloons for World AIDS Day due to environmental reasons. Therefore, we would prefer it if excess personal energy was not wasted by e-mailing Tagadere or posting on social media sites to tell us off for not being environmentally aware. We fully appreciate that there is sufficient hot air emanating from parts of the county to float a balloon the size of a small planet.)

Our au revoir party for HIV Specialist Nurse

On Wednesday 8th October we hosted a special ‘au revoir’ party for HIV Specialist Nurse Sue Pennant who is leaving Nottingham for pastures new in Doncaster after considerable years spent as the HIV Specialist Nurse here in Nottingham.


We had a great day full of laughter, music, psychedelic balloons, flowers and a stupendous buffet lunch provided by Tagadere members who, as always, pulled together to make it a very memorable and emotional occasion.


The happy crowd devoured the homemade feast, many were happy that we chose not to have a cake as sadly, ‘the truth will out’ and many people told us that they considered previous cakes at Tagadere events had been a bit dry and tasteless – something which Tagadere can't be accused of being! As a tasty, moist alternative, one Tagadere member created some spectacular handmade confectionery which was gobbled up in a flash!


We wish Sue all good health and happiness for the future; many local HIV positive people believe that Doncaster's gain is definitely Nottingham's loss.

September 2014

Short and sweet: a pair of e-mails received

Within a couple of hours of the Tagadere news page being updated to report the uplifting letter which we received from Team Timber, a pair of e-mails arrived hot on the heels of each other; both which made us further realise just how valuable Tagadere is as a local, volunteer-run charity.


Well done Tagadere, you’re the Unsung Heroes, like all unpaid charity workers & supporters’


‘Good one & well done to all of you at Tagadere & Team Timber. There is hope for the world’


Thank you to the authors of those e-mails who appreciate what we do and recognise how Tagadere continues to inspire others.

Donate to Tagadere’s fabulous fundraising raffle!

As Tagadere is Nottingham’s only local, independent, volunteer run peer support group for people living with HIV we do not rely on Local Authority funding and so create other fundraising activities, amongst which are our successful Craft Fairs and the monthly raffle at our drop-in.

Donations are always welcomed for this fabulous event!  If you feel that you have something which you don’t have room for, no longer use; a spare room full of unwanted gifts and things which have been bought from QVC in a frenzy of ‘I can’t live without that’, if it’s not too ghastly to donate please drop us a line at

August 2014

Tagadere gets the HIV message out on local television

On Tuesday 19th August we received an unexpected call from the exciting new local television channel Notts TV who wished to interview someone living with HIV about the ongoing stigma and ignorance which surrounds HIV and importantly, to discuss the lack of education and promotion of HIV information in mainstream media and schools.


We frequently hear the accolade 'You can rely on Tagadere' and as we are always ready to raise the flag of HIV awareness and education, one of our group members was prepared to abandon their schedule for the day in order to travel into the city centre studios for the interviews.


Considering the understandable concerns and initial paranoia which surround being ‘outed’ as a person living with HIV, our member took the bull by the horns from the beginning, calmly stating that she was a person living with HIV.


As a white heterosexual female this was a notable moment which instantly shattered persisting stereotypes and provided a massive surge of education in a few precious minutes. An erudite approach was delivered with a relaxed confidence from a member of Tagadere; a wonderfully empowering moment which erased the antiquated preconceptions and tired judgemental clichés which continue to hamper knowledge about HIV.


We applaud our group member and were heartened when she told us the next day at our fabulous weekly drop-in that she regards the peer support which is a fundamental part of Tagadere as something which empowered her to make her statement on live local television that she is a person living with HIV and that HIV does not discriminate.


Considering the topic of the interview, Tagadere believe that those with more readily available financial resources could be achieving better results in educating the nation about HIV.

Perhaps because Tagadere is a local, grassroots, user-led charity operated by volunteers it makes us more instantly approachable and therefore able to react more directly than larger organisations as we are not hampered by the laborious mechanisms which often restrict more corporate HIV businesses.

Tagadere: Looking after Nottingham’s HIV community

As the only volunteer-run, independent HIV support group in Nottingham we are very proud to be mentioned on the NCVS website for taking part in the ‘#LookingAfterNottm’ social media campaign. When we receive unexpected acknowledgement it makes all of the hours which we devote as volunteers so worth it. Without people volunteering their own time in so many different ways (not just for Tagadere), the world would be a much more grim place!



Tagadere World AIDS Day 2014 Christmas Craft Fair

Bookings to have a stall at our WAD 2014 Christmas Craft Fair are coming in rapidly.  When we view the list of stallholders who already requested space in advance of our special event we see that it promises to be another potpourri of creativity.

Put the date in your diary, on your phone, computer, jot it on a Post-It note on the fridge door or even have it as a tattoo!*

Saturday 29th November 1pm – 5pm

Sherwood United Reformed Church, 1 Edwards Lane at the junction with Mansfield Road, Nottingham NG5 3AA

*Please note that Tagadere as a Registered Charity, any of its Trustees or people accessing valuable and crucial volunteer peer support from Tagadere do not advocate the tattooing of the date of the Tagadere World AIDS Day Craft Fair 2014 on any parts of any individual’s body and therefore cannot assume responsibility should any individual be so impressed by and subsequently supportive of the selfless voluntary actions undertaken by Tagadere that they feel the urge to have the date of our esteemed event/s tattooed upon their anatomy.

July 2014

Tagadere proud to raise awareness

Nottinghamshire Pride 2014 exceeded expectations as the change of location to a city centre setting was a decision which reflected the feeling of community and resulted in a much higher public gay visibility in contrast to previous years when we had been slightly away from the public eye on the Forest Recreation Ground.


As in previous years, our information stall was endlessly busy; the highly approachable Tagadere Three Degrees handed out free red ribbons and provided information on HIV and the crucial work which Tagadere provides as Nottingham's only independent volunteer run HIV support group.


Unfortunately, a worrying indication of how much HIV has been allowed to slip from the national consciousness (despite a recent high profile storyline in the television series Emmerdale Farm) is that when asked if they would like a red ribbon to wear, an alarmingly high percentage of people asked 'Why? What's it for, what does it mean?’

To hear this question from gay men at a Gay Pride festival is very depressing. Evidently the horrendous AIDS pandemic which surfaced in 1981 has been dismissed by many.


This prompts us to wonder about the apparent lack of public education about HIV. As a small, local user led volunteer group, Tagadere receives many requests from a wide variety of professional organisations asking us to provide HIV awareness training for staff.


If Tagadere can manage to successfully achieve this as a small, local volunteer run group, it makes us wonder why the general public are not being educated about HIV by those larger national entities who have more significant financial resources which permits access to wider national exposure and awareness.

Tagadere would like to thank the committee of Nottinghamshire Pride and all involved for making the day such an empowering and joyous celebration of the diversity proudly blossoming within The Queen of The Midlands.


We heard it through the grapevine…

As Nottingham’s only independent, volunteer run, user-led peer support group for people living with HIV, we would like to reassure Nottingham’s HIV positive citizens that, contrary to continual gossip circulated by a minority who are guided and influenced by the jealousy and spite of a few individuals, Tagadere is not a cliquey club for white gay men!


The accusations that ‘If your face doesn’t fit you’re not welcome’ and that you can’t attend our popular and successful weekly drop-in if you access other support agencies are as equally laughable as they are untrue.


Tagadere is celebrated for embracing and supporting the social diversity of people living with HIV. An often heard comment ‘It’s like the League of Nations here!’ is perfectly tailored for such an inclusive group as Tagadere.  HIV does not discriminate and reject a person because of their sexuality, gender, skin colour, religion, level of physical ability, height, weight or hair colour – and neither do we!

The Tagadere Monthly Raffle: everyone's a winner!

The successful introduction of our monthly fundraising raffle is proving to be a happy and popular addition to activities at our drop-in.

Already there have been many fabulous prizes won which range in size and use; homemade jams, chutneys and marmalades stand alongside printer/copiers, household goods, DVDs, books, unique jewellery and individual accessories for the home.

Donating to the raffle: Thanks go to the many people who have generously provided such wonderful items in order to fundraise for Tagadere.

Donations are always welcome; if you feel able to contribute please contact us for details by dropping us a line at

Tagadere World AIDS Day Christmas Craft Fair

As Nottingham's only independent volunteer-run HIV support group we're continually busy working on the plans for our next craft fair which is to be held on Saturday 29th November.

The eclectic range of stallholders who have already booked space promises that as with our previous events there will be a fascinating and diverse range of stalls to grab the attention as well as our own stall which will offer information about HIV and the support which Tagadere provides to so many people not only in Nottingham but also further afield.

June 2014

Another Tagadere presentation at Places for People

On Tuesday 10 June our successful and very much in demand resident Tagadere Presentation Duo gave an address to Places for People staff who were eager to learn about living with HIV and the valuable service which Tagadere provides.

The forum was well attended and we are proud that Tagadere receives so many requests for consultation on the many complex issues surrounding HIV. This proves that the only way to access first-hand honest information about day-to-day life as a person living with HIV is to speak with someone who is directly involved.

Nottingham LGCM donation

We would like to thank the Nottingham LGCM (Lesbian & Gay Christian Movement) for their very generous donation to Tagadere and for recognising the work which we do as a volunteer run charity.

Tagadere World AIDS Day 2014 Christmas Craft Fair

Tagadere grows from strength to strength as Nottingham’s only independent HIV support group. Even amidst the empowering excitement of the past few months we have still managed to plan our next World AIDS Day Craft Fair.

This year we are holding our event on Saturday 29 November from 1-5pm at the Sherwood United Reformed Church which is located at the junction of Edwards Lane/Mansfield Road in Sherwood, Nottingham NG5 3AA just behind The Sherwood Manor.  There is ample onsite parking and a bus stop outside which conveniently serves several bus routes from the city.

The spaces are in high demand – if you are artistic, creative and craft-minded and would like to join us, please e-mail for details on how to be a part of our fabulous event.

May 2014

Mighty Real: Tagadere’s 5th anniversary party

6 May 2014 was another day of celebration for Tagadere as it marked five years since we were awarded status as a registered charity. As the next day was our drop-in day we had taken plenty of time to plan suitable revelry.


A friend of Tagadere had contacted us early in the morning to let us know that they had specially cooked two huge vessels of Jamaican curry and rice for the occasion. To make such an effort whilst maintaining a busy working life indicates how much the unity of Tagadere is valued.


Eager to begin the celebrations on such a sunny day, the crowd began to arrive early, many people bearing additional contributions to the beautifully-prepared buffet.  It was splendid to know that people had made extra effort to rearrange their working schedule in order to be able to attend the celebrations. One person had booked the day off from work as far back as February as they couldn’t bear the thought of missing our anniversary gathering of friends old and new.


Throughout the day people dropped in to access the valuable professional support available at our drop-in from the HIV specialist social worker and Places for People support worker; once they had witnessed the uplifting atmosphere they decided to join in stay for the remainder of the day.


A brief speech was made to reassure everyone that despite prolonged efforts made by a small and somewhat tiresome clique of what can only be described as ‘Tagadere-haters’, we are most definitely not ‘finished’ and are certainly not going away.

Tagadere is treasured by so many people as Nottingham’s only independent HIV peer group run by people living with HIV for people living with HIV. The contributions on so many levels from such a diverse array of people adds to the strength of support which we provide.


This announcement gained rousing applause and three cheers for Tagadere, followed by an increase in fun as we began our ‘Disco Pass the Parcel’ – several diligently and almost impossible to open packages were in frenzied circulation to the accompaniment of Sylvester’s ‘You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)’ erupting joyously from the sound system.

This iconic song by Sylvester was chosen as a fitting soundtrack to our games as he was instrumental in the early days of the AIDS crisis to be the first to utilise his celebrity and high public profile to organise benefits and to raise awareness of what was happening.

The fortitude of the AIDS Activists across the globe at the beginning of the pandemic who were prepared to vocalise and draw attention to the situation should never be ignored or forgotten.


The jubilant atmosphere was buoyant and stirring; in other words, a usual Tagadere day but this time with a splendid cake to crown the celebrations. Thank you to everyone who contributed in so many ways to ensure that the day of celebrations was so successful and well deserved.



Tagadere interviewed by journalism student

In April 2014 Tagadere was approached by Alex Copley, a second year journalism student at Nottingham Trent University whose interest in Tagadere grew upon seeing various tweets on Twitter.

We thank Alex for taking the time to speak to us and for his affirming words:

‘It was inspiring being able to talk to you about the charity and how it has changed people's lives so considerably’.

Alex’s artcile is below:


The stigmas attached to HIV often mean that people living with the condition experience severe feelings of marginalisation. However, Tagadere, Nottingham’s only volunteer run, user-led HIV peer group, are here to offer an invaluable sense of friendship and support. Nearing their fifth anniversary, Alex Copley spoke to the charity to find out more.


“When I began going to the Tagadere drop-ins, I thought I was going to find drop-outs. I thought it was the stereotypical black Africans, gay men and drug users that got infected; not a heterosexual female like me. I was scared of going into this group, but when I got there, I was surprised to find a massive diversity of people. It was ever so welcoming and made me realise that it wasn’t all doom and gloom.”


At the age of 17, Kate James was diagnosed with HIV. This devastating blow was made worse when Kate, pregnant at the time, was told she would have to terminate her baby. In desperate need of support, she was offered no form of counselling. Minus brief visits from a social worker over the subsequent years, Kate experienced extreme isolation. Despite her worker’s efforts, she remained withdrawn and unhappy with what she had become. “My worker kept on telling me that there was this group I could go to called Tagadere and meet other people like me. But back then I didn’t like me, so I didn’t really want to meet anyone else like me.”


This all changed in 2007 when Kate eventually plucked up the courage to attend one of Tagadere’s weekly drop-ins. She hasn’t looked back since. Now aged 49, Kate is a fully-fledged board member at Tagadere, helping people cope with the problems she had once encountered.


The pivotal point of Tagadere’s week is their drop-in, where the group share a meal and are able to freely discuss issues in a comfortable and confidential environment. Kate, who lives in Nottingham, cherishes Tagadere’s warm, family feel having been ostracised from her own family.


The drop-in, which takes place every Wednesday, provides access to the HIV Specialist Social Worker, support workers and the HIV Specialist Nurse for people reluctant to go to hospital and more in favour of a safe and inclusive atmosphere. The group also offers around-the-clock telephone support.


As many HIV-positive people will not trust traditional support networks, Tagadere focuses on creating a non-judgmental and welcoming environment. The group’s tight-knit sense of community and support allows people living with HIV to feel secure and open – something Kate finds very beneficial. “The most important thing is talking to someone who has been through what you’re going through and can tell you how it was alright in the end.”


Kate has seen Tagadere blossom over the years and change people’s lives in many ways – including her own. She joined the group hardly able to speak to her peers, but now feels as though she has a new sense of purpose.


“My favourite saying is ‘we’re living with it, not dying from it.’ Lots of people can’t get their head around and won’t mix, but I’m so glad I did. God knows where I’d be now? Still sat in a pile of rubbish in my house probably.”


Someone who has witnessed the group’s exceptional growth since its inception is Simon Smalley – a trustee and secretary at Tagadere. The 52-year-old’s involvement roots back to the early 1990s after having friends pass away to AIDS. As a result, Simon decided to join a group of people gathering formally to help one another, as there were no real support networks in Nottingham at that point. As time passed, the group developed significantly and thought it was a good idea to become a registered charity. On 6 May 2009, Tagadere was granted this status and found new premises for their centre shortly afterwards.


“We were all very energised and dedicated to becoming a more organised group. The main thing was to be a proper community group where we controlled ourselves and made decisions on how Tagadere is run in a very democratic way.”


Simon explains that the name Tagadere comes from an old English word for ‘together’ and he’s still waiting for someone to get it on Countdown. He says it’s a fitting moniker for the user-led group as they don’t rely on professionals, but on the togetherness of the local people with HIV.


It’s testament to the charity’s unmitigated success that people from outside the Nottingham postcode even seek its support. However, due to the ongoing social stigma and prejudice surrounding the condition, many HIV-positive people initially find it difficult opening up and seeking help from groups like Tagadere.


Simon says: “Any other condition will have a lot of presence in the media, but when it comes to HIV, the early 1980s hysterical, knee-jerk reactions still apply. It’s sad that it hasn’t progressed.”


For this reason, the charity doesn’t publicise its drop-in centre location – with the general first point of referral being the HIV Specialist Social Worker or HIV Specialist Nurse at Nottingham City Hospital. Doing so creates a strong level of confidentiality and a special environment which allows people to talk earnestly about their experiences.


What Tagadere have created is unique. They reach out a helping hand to those living with HIV, making them feel comfortable and accepted within society. This attitude is encapsulated perfectly within the charity’s philosophy to ‘be positive about being positive.’


It is an amazing achievement for a group with such humble beginnings to blossom into an entity that is so important in the lives of many – something of which both Kate and Simon are immensely proud. So as Tagadere nears its fifth anniversary as a registered charity, you’d expect some big celebrations are in order. Simon casually replies: “We’ll just be having our regular drop-in – but there will be a cake.”


Alex Copley

Journalism student, Nottingham Trent University.

May 2014


Five years ago we were told that it couldn’t be done!


In early 2009 when a bright idea produced a decision to form a more cohesive group, that idea for progression immediately met considerable doubt and derision.


Observations were voiced that something similar had been unsuccessfully attempted before; therefore our idea was destined to fail before it had even begun. Scornful remarks such as ‘You’ll never do it, it can’t be done’ and ‘It’s been tried before, it didn’t work then and it won’t work now’ did not deter or disillusion us; far from it.


It was vital that we combined our self-belief, dedication and commitment to ensure that the previous evolvement of Positive Attitude into the nascent Tagadere could logically be advanced into a new, more organised, more efficient and most importantly, a user led, volunteer run support group for Nottingham’s HIV populace.


We enthusiastically began the journey uncertain of what lay ahead. A huge learning process began as, despite our combined vast wealth of experience and myriad skills as individuals in other fields of life, none of us had any previous experience of this task which we had undertaken.


The first thing to establish was a commitment to build upon the existing foundation of Tagadere; continuing to provide Nottingham’s HIV community with a much needed drop-in facility although this time for it to be completely run by service users as a ‘one stop shop’.


This would allow easy access to valuable professional workers including the HIV Specialist Social Worker, the HIV Specialist Nurse and a selection of trained support workers who would be available on a drop-in or appointment basis to provide assistance on a wide range of support needs. This would all be complimented by a weekly meal which would be shopped for, prepared and cooked by group members supporting one another in various culinary duties.


We embarked on an adventure to find new premises from which to operate the weekly drop-in as we felt that the location we were using at the time was unsuitable due to a variety of reasons. Of paramount importance was a new base which would offer the requisite anonymity and discretion.


Once a suitable venue had been acquired we began developing the next stage of Tagadere. During this process we have been confronted with many challenges; we have learned an infinite amount and maintained our integrity in providing a support system which local people value.


Five years seem to have sped past, containing some amazing achievements: within the first year a ‘One Nottingham’ award; two years later we received the accolade of being one of only two of The Lord Mayor of Nottingham’s chosen charities and in 2014 the Nottinghamshire Rainbow Heritage presented us with an award which was ‘In recognition of the many years of invaluable work provided by this user-led self help support group for people living with HIV in Nottinghamshire’.


As a local community group we have successfully organised our own craft fairs to raise awareness of both HIV and Tagadere. Our debut World AIDS Day event was given added ceremonial credence when it was opened by The Lord Mayor of Nottingham and subsequently reported in the Nottingham Evening Post.


Interest in Tagadere has been shown by way of conducted interviews filmed and recorded by miscellaneous media sources. Our members have been invited to make many presentations on HIV to professional and medical organisations. Each of these involvements with the wider community distinctly shows how well respected Tagadere is.

Assorted medical professionals have been able to access the people living with HIV in Nottingham at our drop in, allowing them to consult local people living with HIV on various subjects in a relaxed and informal atmosphere. We have even seen two Tagadere members marry when romance blossomed during visits to our drop-in!


Tangible awards and accolades are wonderful acknowledgements of who we are and what we do; however the real reward for the countless voluntarily devoted hours arrive in the shape of the thanks which we receive from so many people who value Tagadere, many of whom have written to us or asked to have their thoughts documented.


As often in life, when attempting to create something wonderful for the benefit of others, the golden road to success is notoriously bordered with shadows of disruption and strewn with dark pebbles of jealousy and malice. Often, lurking in the wayside darkness and sometimes alarmingly encroaching closer, we have encountered those who have a determination to throw a variety of spiteful and vindictive disruptions into our path which are intended to create our ultimate failure and demise.


The futile attempts to ruin us are no match for our resolve and tenacity. We are still here and under our own terms. Our sincere thanks go to everyone who genuinely supports us and who believe wholeheartedly in what we continue to do.


Tagadere is Nottingham’s only independent HIV support group operated voluntarily by people living with HIV for the benefit and support of people living with HIV in Nottingham.

April 2014

Tagadere members interviewed

We were very flattered that upon posting a Tweet mentioning our forthcoming 5th anniversary as a Registered Charity, we were promptly telephoned by Nottingham University 2nd year student journalist Alex Copley who showed great interest in interviewing someone from Tagadere to discover more about our position as a unique volunteer run charity and also the various complex aspects of living life with HIV.

A pair of Tagadere members were more than happy to be interviewed; the results will be incorporated into Alex’s examination coursework and also feature in his blog. He commented ‘It was very fascinating and incredible to hear how Tagadere has developed over the years.’


We find it encouraging that genuine interest in Tagadere covers a wide and diverse range of society. Our thanks to Alex for contacting Tagadere and taking time to learn more about the continuing social stigma surrounding HIV and possible ways of exploding the ignorance which sadly still makes HIV a taboo subject for so many people.

When Alex’s interviews are published we are proud that we’ll be able to include them on the Tagadere website.

Healthwatch Nottingham visit to Tagadere

On 16th April the Tagadere drop-in hosted a presentation by Courtney Nangle, the Community Engagement Officer from Healthwatch Nottingham. The focus was to consult with members of the Tagadere community on the proposed changes to the available walk-in services. Once more it is encouraging that the opinions of the diverse cultural and social mix of people who use Tagadere are considered as people whose thoughts are respected.

The Tagadere Tabletop Shop arrives!

As we are an independently operated group we decided that to augment our fundraising raffles and annual World AIDS Day Craft Fairf,  a good way to raise funds would be to have a ‘tabletop shop’ at our drop-in.

Here we have a dizzying variety of handmade creations ranging from cards and jewellery to food processors, lava lamps and designer label handbags which nestle alongside other items which have been donated - but not for long!  If you don’t grab it at the bargain price when it’s there…it could be gone. It’s fun and what may be considered unwanted and unusable by one person can be seen as a necessary treasure by someone else!

Tagadere at ‘Looking After Each Other’ event

As March entered its last few days, Tagadere members joined a large and varied amount of people attending the ‘Looking After Each Other’ event at Nottingham’s Indian Community Centre Association. This was a valuable networking opportunity for the many who were present; a diverse range of key note speakers included Leader of Nottingham City Council Cllr. Jon Collins, Portfolio Holder for Vulnerable Adults Cllr. Alex Norris and also Lillian Greenwood MEP plus Melanie Futer MBE, Steve Parkinson from Bulwell Toy Library, George Cowcher, CEO Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce.


It was encouraging to realise that the fundamental ethics which Tagadere believes in are shared by others as the correct way forward for community groups. We have successfully proved that being operated by service user volunteers is essential and highly beneficial for a community group to retain its unique identity. It is not professionals who decide how Tagadere is operated; local people living with HIV who use Tagadere decide how their own group is run.


For the past five years since becoming a Registered Charity we have worked hard at maintaining a grassroots approach which has proved to be a highly successful and well respected example of the power of local people who have a direct, hands-on involvement in how their own group works. We have no interest in becoming a large corporate entity; we are proud to be Nottingham’s only volunteer run, user led, self help peer support group for people living with HIV. Thank you to all who made the day a success.



March 2014

Tagadere drop-in Pancake Day 2014

At our wonderful weekly drop-in a large gathering celebrated Pancake Day in traditional Tagadere style with the most delicious crepes being created expertly by one of our members whose role it appears has become Official Pancake Maker.

Fresh lemon juice, fresh oranges, golden caster sugar and on the naughty side, maple syrup and Nutella were available to embellish the light as a feather delights which were devoured as soon as they slipped effortlessly from the pans.

Another Tagadere friend brought in a huge box of handmade jam and lemon curd tarts for everyone to share which, along with the pancakes, made for a very tasteful treat. Thanks to all involved who continue to make Tagadere the only successful peer support group for people living with HIV in Nottinghamshire.

Due to the increasing number of fresh faces attending our drop-in we’ll have to make sure that next year we increase the quantity of home-made batter.

February 2014

Tagadere’s Nottinghamshire Rainbow Heritage Award

On Tuesday 25th February, Nottingham’s Council House hosted The Nottinghamshire Rainbow Heritage Awards; a busy, highly attended evening which was full of accolades to proudly validate Nottingham’s LGBT community.


Following announcements by Nottinghamshire Pride, Tagadere were the first award winners to grace the stage to accept our certificate which was presented by the Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Police, Chris Eyre; the certificate stating: ‘In recognition of the many years of invaluable work provided by this user-led self help support group for people living with HIV in Nottinghamshire’.


As the Nottinghamshire Rainbow Heritage Master of Ceremonies stated, the initial AIDS crisis in the early 1980’s had devastated the global gay communities; those communities who mobilised and responded accordingly to the enormous challenge by organising care and support.


To those of us around during those dark days it soon became apparent that the massive amount of mis-information about AIDS being ‘a gay disease’ was completely untrue and that the HIV virus cannot determine a person’s sexuality. Nevertheless, continuing fear, paranoia, mistrust and outrageous examples of discrimination ran riot across the globe, further fuelled by irresponsible media reports. Sadly, those stigmas persist in a society which remains largely ignorant about HIV.


Tagadere are extremely proud to continue to be Nottingham’s only, user-led, peer support group for people living with HIV. To have our voluntary work recognised and commended by Nottinghamshire Rainbow Heritage is a fabulous accolade and furthermore, to have the award presented by the Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire at a ceremony held in Nottingham Council House illustrates such progression in attitude towards Nottingham’s LGBT community.


The following day we were able to put the framed certificate down long enough to display it at our weekly drop-in where it received justified compliments from the throngs of people who benefit greatly from the continued peer support which Tagadere provides as volunteers.


Tagadere would like to congratulate fellow award winners and the E.on LBGT Network and to also thank everyone who has given their genuine support and continued belief in Tagadere and what we do.


Special thanks extend to everyone involved in The Nottinghamshire Rainbow Heritage for making the evening such a happy, uplifting and fabulous event.


A thank you

In advance of Tagadere receiving an award from The Nottinghamshire Rainbow Heritage, we received an e-mail which we’re reproducing here.


‘Hi Tagadere. Thanks for always being here in Nottingham for me and a lot of others, not just us gay guys. I saw on the front of QB that you’re up for an award and wanted to say that it’s more than well-deserved and how right this is that you’re recognised for what you do for everyone, not just the gay community because you put yourselves out for everybody whatever sexuality they’ve got.’


TV soap tackles HIV

We’re not all square eyed at Tagadere but it’s encouraging to see that television soap opera Emmerdale has brought HIV to television prime time mainstream attention. This is an applaudable opportunity to promote awareness of HIV and to hopefully begin to demolish established prejudices of ‘high risk’ groups.

The series producer encouragingly stated: ‘Things have changed so dramatically and I suppose I just wanted to tell a story that informed people properly and made people reaslise that actually their preconceptions of what HIV is today really probably aren’t right.’



HIV medication information forum at Tagadere drop-in

On 12 February the Tagadere drop-in hosted a forum ‘Important Changes To Your Medication Which You Need To Know’.

This crucial and informative workshop was presented by HIV Specialist Nurse Sue Pennant from the Nottingham City Hospital Department of Infectious Diseases who we thank for enlightening us on the forthcoming changes.

January 2014

Tagadere invited to make HIV Awareness Training workshop presentation at Nottingham City Hospital

On Wednesday 15 January a trio of Tagadere service users visited the Midwifery & Nursing Post Graduate Education Centre at the Nottingham City Hospital Campus to give a productive and highly informative two hour presentation as a part of the ‘HIV Awareness Training for Nursing Home Senior Staff’ event.


The purpose of the day was to offer free HIV Awareness training to managers and nursing colleagues from local community nursing homes and domiciliary care agencies. Locally there are a small number of patients who have required nursing home care or community care services and the also acknowledging the fact that people living with HIV are an ageing population which is increasing in numbers.


For Tagadere to be invited to this event and consulted once more to provide first-hand information about living with HIV is further acknowledgment of Tagadere and the diverse elements of the work which we continue to do as the only user led volunteer operated HIV support group in Nottinghamshire.


This was a wonderful opportunity to inform on the realities of living with HIV and a chance to present a well-structured demonstration of the many problems faced by people living with HIV. Using a questionnaire devised by a Tagadere member we were hopefully able to dispel many myths and correct some of the misinformation which still surrounds HIV.


Our appreciation goes to HIV Specialist Nurse Sue Pennant for her original idea for the day, to Dr. Janet Garley (Specialty Registrar, GU Medicine) for inviting Tagadere to participate and for everyone whose attention and welcome resulted in a most rewarding visit.

Our first drop-in of the year: ‘It’s so good to be back!’

Towards the tail-end of the Yuletide season we began to receive phone calls, texts and e-mails ‘just checking’ the date of first Tagadere drop-in of the New Year. Many told us how much they were missing being able to go to the drop-in during the festive fortnight and how they were anxious to return to the regular stability which our drop-in provides. It seems that both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day being on ‘Wednesday is drop-in day’ was considered a big inconvenience for some. Upon arriving at the drop-in one Tagadere friend exclaimed ‘It’s so good to be back!’


The Christmas and New Year period is invariably a difficult time for many people and we are happy to say that during this time we were able to continue to provide ample support and direction via telephone and e-mail. One person sent a text with their thanks ‘Tagadere UR the REAL spirit of Christmas’.


The first drop-in of 2014 was a wonderful reunion of friends with the uplifting mood and continual good humour almost equal to the atmosphere at the Christmas party two weeks earlier. Thanks to everyone who made the beginning of 2014 such an enjoyable one.


Tagadere in QB 76

Tagadere are proud to be featured on page 6 in the latest edition of QB, Nottinghamshire’s very own bi-monthly LGBT newsletter. QB 76 is packed with news, information and articles.

Download it here:

New Year greetings from Tagadere

Tagadere would like to extend our thanks to those who, during the past year, have continued to believe in us and whose honesty in their support for what we do as volunteers meant a lot to us during 2013.


As a local group we spent another phenomenally busy year supporting people living with HIV from not only Nottingham and the county of Nottinghamshire but by extending our reach to help people from many locations much further afield.

We’ve received encouragement knowing that Tagadere has been recommended to a considerable number of people living with HIV in more remote areas of the UK which makes us proud to know that our support is not exclusively limited to NG postcodes.


A continually growing number of people appreciate and value Tagadere, never doubting the unconditional support which we provide as a volunteer-run, user led charity. We closed 2013 remembering the touching words written to us earlier in year from someone who uses the services which Tagadere provides:


‘What you do is incredible, so unique, so beneficial, so selfless, running Tagadere as you now do, running it as a charity so well.


Tagadere is an amazing thing and you who give your free time to run it are amazing. Credit yourselves with something that is truly incredible. Tagadere supports anyone who asks for support. You do everything you possibly can to support everyone who needs support and if sometimes that isn't enough for them, well so be it. It is not because you have not done everything in your power to do to help - you always do.


Remember though - many things people want are not in Tagadere's power to grant. Tagadere is not to blame for that.

Tagadere has honesty and integrity - you don't make wild promises to 'solve everyone's problems’…

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