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Project information

Teen Spirit Online Network

To provide an online support portal built in conjunction with HIV+/affected young people for YP. YP will have access to an extensive peer network to reduce social isolation, educational support and counselling to improve life chances; scaling up B&S’s current work to reach YP across the UK.

The project is rolling from the start date May 2011

Charity information: Body & Soul

Body & Soul logo
  • Need


    There are 2500 HIV+ YP accessing care in the UK and 11,429 have been born to HIV+ mothers since the beginning of the UK epidemic. Studies state that ‘social support is an important factor in helping people to adapt psychologically to living with HIV’. HIV+/affected YP, particularly outside London lack these age appropriate support and peer networks. B&S is filling this void, scaling up services to reach YP socially isolated within/outside London by providing online peer/professional support.


    Body & Soul’s website will host a secure portal that will extend the health and psychosocial support offered from Body & Soul’s Islington centre online; increasing accessibility for YP who due to location, disability or ill health are unable to attend regularly. Providing a peer support network run by YP will enable YP who are HIV+/affected to reduce isolation; professional support will address the educational/emotional challenges YP living with a long term illness face.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To decrease the social isolation of HIV+/affected young people


    » To maintain a purpose built, up to date website with username and password access
    » To monitor activity on the site to maintain saftey and evaluate young people's progress
    » To update the website in response to feedback from young people
    » To present information in an accessible youth friendly way; interactive resources will capitalise on the scope technology has to offer.

    What success will look like

    Young people will have greater confidence, positive self identity, feel less isolated and able to use a greater number of coping strategies to develop their own resilience.

    Aim 2

    To increase the accessibility to HIV specific information and support for young people.


    » To provide an online social network of HIV+/affected young people and a forum where young people realise they are not alone in dealing with HIV.
    » To encourage young people to enagage with and deal positively with HIV.
    » To promote the site to HIV+/affected young people and signpost the site to healthcare proffessionals so they can direct their patients.
    » To provide a secure, flexible space where trained B&S teen mentors can work with young people not currently engaged in support networks.

    What success will look like

    Young people will display improved interpersonal skills, an improved ability to communicate with peers/adults and feel more comfortable making new friends.

    Aim 3

    To increase the emotional support available to HIV+/affected young people.


    » To address the complexities of coming to terms with HIV in a format young people are responsive to.
    » To employ a BACP qualified counsellor to provide online support for 3 hours per week.
    » To provide a booking in facility for young people to recieve online counselling.
    » To provide follow up support in house/online for all young people recieving counselling.

    What success will look like

    300 young people will sign up to the site in Year 1 with 5 per week recieving counselling and educational support.

    Aim 4

    To increase the educational and aspirational attainment of HIV+/affected young people


    » To employ a qualified tutor to provide online study support for 3 hours per week
    » To provide a booking in facility for young people to recieve study support.
    » To provide follow up support in-house/online for all young people recieving tutoring
    » To provide interative, educational and youth enagaging activities and resources online.

    What success will look like

    Young people will show an increased interest in education, learning and on-going achievment.

  • Impact


    The project will address the stigma HIV+ YP face, reversing the negative impact isolation can have on educational, social and emotional health and well-being. The project will be monitored through informal feedback with young people (questionnaires, anecdotal evidence), reporting from counsellors/tutors and formal data collection e.g. no of YP accessing counselling/tutoring. Success will be demonstrated through site user involvement and evaluation of services.


    1) There is a risk of fraudulent misuse of our service. Young people will have to ‘log in’ to a secure portal of the website ensuring the environment is safe. Our web maintenance manager will implement exhaustive security checks.
    2) Inability to reach projected number of young people; though monitoring & evaluation further outreach & communication strategies would be implemented. Due to high demand for Body & Soul’s support, this risk is extremely low.


    Ongoing monitoring and evaluation will be implemented with mid term and final grant reports compiled and submitted for review by donors detailing successes, challenges, changes to the project.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £10,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £6,000 Build Build of Website
      £1,500 Design Website Design
      £1,500 Maintenance Website Maintenance
      £1,000 M&E Monitoring & Evaluation

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Steel Trust £3,000 Guaranteed
    Shine Education Trust £15,324 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Body & Soul’s family, HIV support centre is located in Islington. London is the epicentre of the UK HIV epidemic and therefore the region where the need for direct service provision is paramount. This project will disseminate Body & Soul’s expertise throughout the UK, providing more young people with tailored support. All online content, monitoring and evaluation and web support will be provided/delivered from our purpose built building.


    Young people aged 13 – 19 who are living with or closely affected by HIV throughout the UK. The majority of these young people live in families facing multiple levels of poverty and deprivation. Some may be young carers for a sick family member, must frequently miss school due to ill health or are in and out of the care system, having lost parents to HIV. All are significantly marginalised and will face varying degrees of isolation, without adequate support their prospects in life are low.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    B&S is recognised as an expert in the field of youth focused HIV support; we have been recognised by the World Health Organisation and used as a model of good practise by the HIV Code. We have the busiest youth group for HIV+/affected teens in the UK. With over 350 young people currently accessing support, we can guarantee youth involvement and participation in the project. We have links with other organisations throughout the UK to ensure continued recruitment of young people to the project.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Emma Colyer

    founded Body & Soul in 1996 and fourteen years on she is still the charities Director.

    Jed Marsh

    began volunteering over 10 years ago when still a teacher, he now designs and delivers youth/volunteering programmes at Body & Soul.

    Ros Burkinshaw

    trained at a teacher through Teach First and is now the Head of Teen Spirit, Body & Soul’s youth programme for 13 – 19 year olds.

    Nimisha Tanna

    is the Head of Services at Body & Soul, responsible for the health and well-being of 3000+ registered children, teenagers and adults.