Core Values

EAST supports people in leading their own lives. For some time people with HIV have been moving toward greater independence and more participation in broader society. We offer all the help and support we can to people who want to make these changes. That could mean going back into education, employment or training. Or it could mean bigger ambitions: volunteering abroad, starting a business or writing a book for example. But rising to new challenges isn't always what's called for. After diagnosis or following a period of illness or stress it may help to take things more easily for a while. And in that case we will be there not only to offer support ourselves but to help people access other forms of assistance. The choice is the client's.
We treat all contacts with the strictest confidentiality. No information is ever disclosed outside EAST unless the client has given permission in writing. The only exception would be where a client is in danger and poses a danger to others
Equality and Diversity
Our clients come from a wide range of different backgrounds and the kind of help they need can vary a lot. We have extensive experience of working with people from many cultures and communities and this has taught us to reserve judgement and be alive to the danger of prejudice. Between them our staff speak nine languages. Yet we find people vary as much from individual to individual as from group to group and our aim is always to focus on the particular needs and wishes of our service-users.
At EAST our standards are high. With backgrounds in other professional areas such as GUM nursing, hospital chaplaincy, teaching and trade union work, our staff have been trained in all aspects of HIV information and support work and continue to receive ongoing training and regular supervision. Our formal structure for recording outcomes ensures that the views of service-users about our work are sought and taken into account. So far as transparency does not conflict with our clients' confidentiality needs we practice it in everything we do.
We try both to respect our service-users' existing communities and to help them access or build new ones. Discretion is called for in dealing with the communities our clients come from and we engage with these on a professional basis at the request of the service-user. Where fear of stigma has discouraged people from becoming part of their neighbourhood community we can also help people to gain access to local networks. But helping to give strength and solidarity to the community of HIV+ people in East Anglia is core to our work and a value reflected in all our activities.