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HIV Improvement Community: Connect Well by Living Well

Led by Living Well, a not-for profit organisation that helps people improve and maintain their physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing, it involves London Northwest University Healthcare NHS Trust and various local voluntary sector partners.

About the project

Connect Well helped improve the quality of life for people who are living with HIV. It did this by providing a range of online, one-to-one and group services for people living with HIV and experiencing loneliness and isolation.

Many people living with HIV find it hard to share their HIV status. They can feel alone, disconnected from family and friends and isolated within their local community. All of which impacts on their mental health and ability to live a full and healthy life.

“Loneliness, isolation and poor mental wellbeing can come hand-in-hand with a new diagnosis.  Building confidence and becoming open about living with HIV is hugely empowering.”

What Connect Well offered

Connect Well offered a range of one-to-one and group wellbeing services, including counselling, life coaching and workshops that build confidence and focus on getting back to work.

It provided art and hypnotherapy and activities that reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness and helped people create new connections and a sense of community. The approaches varied, including community outreach, drop-in sessions and personal care planning, plus case work, coaching groups and workshops.

Many of the team are people living full lives with HIV. They are great role models that demonstrate what is possible and give people the advice and support they need to know they are not alone. It helps people who are living with HIV imagine their own healthy future and gives them confidence to build new relationships.

“Working in this flexible way, being able to adapt what we were doing, working together with other charities and Fast-Track Cities has made our projects so much better than the usual way of one pot of money for one specific project.” – Simon, Living Well

Findings from the Connect Well project: 600+ peoplr used the service; 300+ across 30 boroughs engaged in 1-to-1 services; 550+ across 26 boroughs engaged in group support; 2,500+ hours of coaching time.

So far, the team has helped over 600 people. With more than 300 people receiving one-to-one advice and over 500 people taking part in group sessions that support their wellbeing.

Read the full report about the Fast-Track Cities London Improvement Collaborative 2020 – 2023.

Read a case study about the Improvement Collaborative approach.

Find out more about Living Well’s work on their website: www.livingwellcic.com

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