Terrence Higgins Trust Charity Window Unveiled

Monday 4th February 2013, 17.26

In celebration of the Terrence Higgins Trust’s 30th anniversary, the HIV charity teamed up with Liberty to auction off the chance to design a display for one of our famous shop front windows. The winner was Belma Gaudio, Creative Director of womenswear label Belma Gaudio Ltd, who designed a powerful printed display to convey the messages pivotal to the AIDS-related charity. The window was unveiled today and will be on show for one week for shoppers and passers-by to see. We caught up with Belma and Jane from Terrence Higgins Trust  to find out more on Belma’s inspiration and the driving force and history of the charity.

“My overriding inspiration for the window display was the charity’s own mission statement, and my desire to communicate this in a strong and blunt way through visual means. I wanted to make it overtly clear to the shopper and passer-by that the theme of the window is dedicated to the charity and its purpose. Thus, I felt the display had to be bold and it had to be unencumbered. The Terrence Higgins Trust logo colours – blue and white – dominate the window, from the mannequin itself to the beautifully wallpapered backdrop. The mannequin stands stripped back and bare with arms outstretched. A powerful symbol of the charity’s reach, its commitment to transparency and inclusivity, and its dedication to mobilising public and political support for HIV and sexual health issues. The mannequin’s palms pressed outwards symbolise stopping the spread of HIV.

All over, the mannequin is ‘touched’ by blue handprints, signifying how many are connected through it (voluntarily or not), and how many lives are affected by it. The hands upon the figure also represent a core value of the charity’s mission: the eradication of stigma and discrimination surrounding the virus and its victims. Not only is HIV spread through contact, but the battle is won through outreach, communication, and education. The hands also depict the charity’s commitment to pushing itself and others to improve the lives of those suffering from HIV.

The string of pearls hanging on the mannequin celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Terrence Higgins Trust and its enduring legacy of inspiring change, maximising health and wellbeing, and uniting over a common cause. Whilst the Terrence Higgins Trust is a UK focused charitable organisation, the red ribbon is a reminder of the global reach of the AIDS epidemic, and stands as a universal symbol of awareness and support for those living with the virus. And let us not forget Liberty itself. In the background, but no less impactful, is a wallpaper reflecting Liberty’s strong heritage of producing unique and enduring patterns. Moreover, the wallpapered backdrop stands to represent Liberty’s longstanding tradition of supporting community outreach and worthwhile causes, which I am proud to be a part of.” – Belma Gaudio, window designer and winning bidder.

“The Terrence Higgins Trust is the leading and largest HIV and sexual health charity in the UK. Terry Higgins died of an AIDS-related illness on 4th July 1982 at St Thomas’ Hospital, London. He was 37 years old. That same year, three of his closest friends founded the Terrence Higgins Trust, using Terry’s name in the hope of humanising and personalising AIDS in a very public way. From just a handful of people in a flat in East London, our charity has grown to become the UK’s leading voice on HIV and sexual health, with 33 centres across the UK.

Sir Nick Partridge, Chief Executive of Terrence Higgins Trust, said: ‘Thirty years ago, Terry’s death inspired an extraordinary legacy. Our charity, born out of love and grief, has helped hundreds of thousands of people over the last three decades and for that we are hugely grateful.’

Over the years we have staffed phone lines, put up posters and visited schools. We have launched clinics and counselling services, youth groups and websites, and we have held Government to account. For a time we helped people to die with dignity, but for the last 15 years we have helped those with HIV to live their lives to the fullest. Today, there are more people living with HIV than ever before and the latest HPA figures suggest that there are now 100,000 with the condition in the UK alone. Of these, a quarter are unaware that they’re infected.

We would like to thank Belma Gaudio and Liberty for taking the time to support Terrence Higgins Trust. Their generous support helps us to continue providing vital services to those in most need. People living with HIV continue to battle discrimination every day. We aim to create a world where people with HIV live healthy lives free from prejudice and discrimination, and good sexual health is a right and reality for all.” – Jane Barron, Events Manager for Terrence Higgins Trust.

To find out more visit: www.tht.org.uk.

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