The event was compered by journalist Amanda Ferguson and over 100 invited guests heard from founding members of the Northern Ireland Buyers Club including Mark Regan, CEO of Kingsbridge Healthcare Group and Ciaran Moynagh, Partner at Phoenix Law.
The Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Kate Nicholl and the Chief Executive of Positive Life, Jacquie Richardson also made contributions.
Research by Positive Life has shown that support for people living with HIV in Northern Ireland is chronically underfunded and is seldom a priority for the public when considering charitable donations.
It is expected that the £500,000 funding raised by the ‘NI Buyers Club’ will target the challenges of HIV related stigma through increased awareness and education, funding research and supporting new projects to meet the changing needs of Positive Life service users.
Jacquie Richardson, Chief Executive of Positive Life said:
“We are thrilled to have launched the NI Buyers Club, an innovative initiative and bring together organisations and like-minded individuals to support the work of Positive Life.”
“This is an ambitious new project that will create a shift change and place us in a position to independently launch new projects and undertake research to meet the changing needs of our service users. This is an exciting proposition for us as an organisation.”
“Operating in an often-challenging funding landscape, we have felt restricted in our ability to impact the society-wide change needed to how we think about HIV here in Northern Ireland. The Northern Ireland Buyers Club will see us able to step outside of these financial restraints and build a vibrant network of corporate donors and individual supporters.”
Reflecting on the event at the Europa Hotel, Jacquie Richardson added:
“I would like to thank everyone who attended our launch event at the Europa Hotel and our panellists for their valuable contributions. Special thanks to the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Kate Nicholl for hosting our event and choosing us as one of her mayoral charities.”
“At Positive Life, we have always been ambitious. Fundamentally, we want to create real change and deliver the best possible outcomes for people who are impacted by HIV. The Northern Ireland Buyers Club is all about scaling up this ambition so that we can deliver lasting social impact.”
Panellist and founding member of the Northern Ireland Buyers Club, Ciaran Moynagh, Partner at Phoenix Law added:
“For many years now, Positive Life have been playing a truly vital role in supporting individuals, families and whole communities impacted by HIV in Northern Ireland.”
“Phoenix Law wants to commend the innovative and sustainable approach that Positive Life is taking to addressing the harm and social isolation caused by stigma. We look forward to working with Positive Life to target the challenges of HIV related stigma through being involved with the Northern Ireland Buyers Club.”
One of the founding members of the Positive Life Buyers Club, Mark Regan, CEO of Kingsbridge Healthcare Group said:
“We are very pleased to step out in support of Positive Life to ensure the long-term sustainability of the charity and the vital support it provides to this region.”
“As a project that aims to build lasting relationships that will serve an issue many feel is no longer a major crisis, The NI Buyers Club represents a bold new initiative from Positive Life in its mission to tackle the crippling levels of stigma that still exist in Northern Ireland and through our own Kingsbridge Foundation we are delighted to support this cause.”
Ciaran Moynagh, Partner at Phoenix Law; Jacquie Richardson, CEO of Positive Life; Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Kate Nicholl; and Mark Regan, CEO of Kingsbridge Healthcare Group.