Tagadere began in the mid 1990’s as Positive Attitude; a small group of people living with HIV in the Nottingham area who gathered informally to support to each other and those recently diagnosed as HIV positive.
Eventually it was considered that the name was too similar to other groups with ‘positive’ in their name and therefore a search was undertaken for a name which would be distinctive, to make people think and consequently remember the group.
A variety of names were considered until ‘Tagadere’ was finally adopted as its origins in ancient English mean ‘together’. A logo was designed featuring four hands of varying colours gripping supportively together to reflect the connotations of the word and of the ethos of our shared non-discriminatory unity.
At this time a weekly drop-in service provided by Nottingham City Council Social Services was established at a venue in the outskirts of the city which later moved closer to the city centre.
This operated successfully for many years until January 2009 when four Tagadere service users decided that the time had arrived to create a more cohesive, formal group operated on a voluntary basis by Tagadere members; the formative plans were to create a unique group led by the users of the service for the users of the service.
Numerous meetings over a period of weeks resulted in the eventual election of a Board of Trustees, the development of a constitution, the creation of a code of conduct for people visiting the Drop-in and the great achievement of becoming a Registered Charity on 6 April 2009.
As momentum gathered it became apparent that for a variety of reasons the premises we were using for the Drop-in were not completely suitable. After investigating many properties we relocated to a more appropriate venue which offered more confidentiality and a good level of anonymity which was crucial due to the continuing prejudice and stigma surrounding HIV. This move complimented the introduction of the ‘new’ Tagadere and in May 2009 the Tagadere Drop-in moved to its current location where it continues to thrive successfully.
In March 2012 in response to the continually growing popularity of the Drop-in and increasing requests we introduced a second day each week dedicated to providing educational, therapeutic and creative activities with the inclusion of individual counselling.
As a user-led support group we have the advantage of personal experience and insight into the myriad aspects of living with HIV. Subsequently, following a person’s HIV-positive diagnosis we are able to provide essential social support in a welcoming, confidential and safe atmosphere.
We aim to meet a crucial and fundamental need for support at a time when feelings of confusion, uncertainty and isolation can be prevalent and to continue providing that peer support in an unobtrusive way.
Our philosophy is that it is paramount for Tagadere to remain local, user-led and maintain a grassroots, independent attitude to enable us to offer a more personal and practical hands-on approach. This means that our involvement is more direct and organic than if we were a large corporate institution, resulting in us being able to offer a genuinely bespoke service to those who need it.