The Trustees and team at Positive Action strive to deliver the highest quality of services available. The team is made up of individuals with a diverse mix of skills, experiences and backgrounds.
These are the current board members: click on any name to read their profile:
Peter Hellawell (Chair)
Diagnosed with HTLV-III in 1984 (an early name for HIV) Peter went public with his diagnosis in 1989 and has witnessed first-hand the dramatic changes in social attitudes to his condition as well as medical advancements and changing funding priorities.
From within a range of organisations he has supported HIV service delivery across all sectors: designing and delivering awareness training to thousands of people. He regularly speaks publicly about his HIV and has appeared on both local and national TV and radio. Alongside his work with HIV, Peter has worked on a range of equality-based community engagement projects providing information and support to potentially marginalised groups and individuals.
He has been a Trustee of Positive Action since 2008 (when he was co-opted from the dissolved Board of the Charlotte Jackson Trust) and Chair of Trustees since 2012.
A former accountant, Matthew has over 25 years' experience of working in the charitable sector as treasury manager, project leader and trustee / director. In 2012 he was one of the trainers selected to deliver the London Olympic Legacy and he currently heads a specialist training business to the charitable, voluntary and hospice care sector.
As part of the pan-London HIV prevention strategy, he facilitated lifestyle / HIV awareness workshops for GMFA (Gay Men Fighting AIDS), the success of which lead to his delivering workshops in Birmingham, Liverpool and Newcastle.
Matthew has extensive connections within the voluntary sector and has previously served as trustee for Volunteering England, Disability Initiative and Toc H (Vice Chair Toc H Germany – working with HM Armed Forces B.A.O.R.).
He joined the Board of Positive Action in 2002 and has served as treasurer for most of his time.
A Trustee since 2013, Andrea brings a broad range of service delivery skills to the role having combined a career in the public sector with long-term voluntary work.
Roles within the Department for Work and Pensions (Jobcentre Plus) have included specialist refugee advice, employer engagement and outreach for the family intervention project at Barnardos. Parallel to this she has served as a volunteer counsellor for Portsmouth Abuse and Rape Counselling Service for over a decade, providing supervision support and training of volunteers.
Andrea has demonstrated her strong commitment to reducing HIV discrimination by variously supporting both staff and clients as and whenever the need has arisen. She explains, "I aim to utilise my experience – along with effective partnership working – to help Positive Action in its work to improve the quality of support available to clients with HIV from the public sector".
Andrew has been involved in international banking for 20 years, working within project and change management overseeing major organisational restructures involving significant staff and resource redeployment. He brings to the PA Board a range of skills that include supporting change management, organisational design and staff development.
One minor part of his work role involved oversight of monies allocated to charity budgets. While this was a window into the not-for-profit sector, when it came to identifying a door to step through (how and where he might donate his time to the sector) Andrew looked to his experiences as a youth. As a teenager he regularly visited family in South Africa where his Aunt, a practicing GP, had set up a ground-breaking community-based HIV awareness and treatment programme. As Andrew explains, "I've seen so many changes to HIV over the years and now, with dramatic treatment advances resulting in a shift in funding priorities, I realised that the new challenge here in the UK will be to ensure that the necessary changes that are being forced on the sector ned to be introduced in a way that empowers people with HIV and maximises the future support available to them."
Andrew joined the Board towards the end of 2016.
The staff who are based in Aldershot are:
After qualifying as a nurse in 2001, Rachel has worked in health and social care management for fifteen years, first on programmes within NHS Hospital Trusts and commissioning groups improving emergency care, cancer care and the management of long term conditions in the community. After working for a healthcare consultancy in the USA, she went on to develop and manage services for Crossroads Care and Macmillan Cancer Support back in the UK.
Rachel’s interest in HIV began in the early 1990s whilst studying her first degree where she researched the impact of grassroots non-governmental organisations in supporting African communities affected by HIV. It is exciting to see the advances in the treatment and prevention of the condition but she recognises that the people affected by HIV need a range of support to maintain their health and wellbeing and live the life they want without fear and prejudice.
Rachel is excited to be working with the Trustees and a new team to establish the new look Positive Action and strengthen the services available for the HIV community in Surrey and Hampshire.
Information & Communications Officer
Training & Mentoring Officer
Please see our employment opportunities page if you are interested in joining the team.