Community Action Restores HIV Beacon of Hope
41 years since the beginning of the HIV response, George House Trust is delighted to announce a re-dedication event of the Beacon of Hope HIV Memorial on Saturday 23rd July 2022 at 12:30pm.
Over the last year, community organisations have worked together to make the much-needed refurbishment of the Beacon of Hope a reality. The aim was to ensure that the Beacon of Hope was restored to a respectful memorial honouring the memories of everyone lost to HIV over the years.
Work included the repainting of the railings around the Beacon, re-gilding of lettering on the plinth, replacement of missing and broken mosaic tiles and repairs to the internal lighting inside the Beacon itself. The HIV timeline plaques spanning the years 1981 to 2021 - many of which were faded or rusting - are also in the process of being replaced.
Manchester’s Beacon of Hope was conceived in 1997 as a response to HIV, erected in 2000 and stands as a memorial to everyone lost to HIV and as a symbol of solidarity with everyone living with HIV today.
This rededication event is open to all to attend and is at the Beacon of Hope in Sackville Gardens in the heart of Manchester’s Gay Village.
The community partners who’ve led the restoration of the Beacon of Hope and its surroundings include George House Trust, Friends of Sackville Gardens, Manchester City Council, LGBT Foundation and Manchester Pride, supported by venues from across the Gay Village. The project has also been supported by Greater Manchester Mayor’s LGBTQ+ Advisor, Carl Austin-Behan.
People are being encouraged to bring flowers in memory of friends and loved ones which can be placed on the Beacon from 12.30pm. The short event will start at 1pm with speeches.
Darren Knight, Chief Executive at George House Trust said, “The passion, energy and commitment of everyone who’s been involved in restoring the Beacon of Hope brings home to me exactly why it is needed. It’s about remembrance, history and hope for the future and I’m really pleased that this significant HIV landmark has had the attention and respect it deserves. HIV may have changed, but there’s still work to do so that people living with the virus can live healthy and confident lives. This rededication of the Beacon of Hope provides a platform to continue to raise awareness, educate, inform and campaign about HIV across Greater Manchester and beyond.”