21 years in support of Waverley Care? You’ll be having a laugh

Waverley Care has been supported by stars including Michael McIntyre
Waverley Care has been supported by stars including Michael McIntyre
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IT’S one of the longest running charity partnerships on the Fringe, and now Waverley Care, Scotland’s leading HIV and hepatitis C charity is looking for supporters to take a trip down memory lane as it celebrates a 21-year cooperation with Edinburgh’s largest Fringe venue.

The charity is this year marking its fundraising partnership with the Pleasance by asking people to say how much has changed for them in the last 
21 years, or since they were 21.

The partnership, which generates income through bucket collections in the Pleasance courtyard and the sale of 
tartan HIV awareness ribbons, raises around £30,000 each year, and hopes to reach a £250,000 total at some point during the 2012 Festival.

Further funds are raised through the Tartan Ribbon Comedy Benefit evening held annually at the Pleasance, and previous years have been supported by stars such as Michael McIntyre, Russell Howard, Julian Clary, Jason Byrne, 
Ivan Brackenbury, Mark Watson, Stephen K Amos, Lucy Porter, Shappi Khorsandi, David O’Doherty and Tim Vine.

Grant Sugden, director of Waverley Care said: “We’re delighted to be celebrating our 21st birthday with the Pleasance Theatre Trust. Things have come a long way in 21 years in the treatment and management of HIV, but what has not changed is the stigma attached to the condition.

“The Pleasance continues to support us with new ideas which, in recent years, have seen the development of our social media campaign, 

Anthony Alderson, director of Pleasance Theatre Trust, added: “From bucket donations to fundraising galas, we are proud of the money and awareness we have helped the charity raise and look forward to continuing working with Waverley Care for many years to come.” The #laffoffstigma campaign has attracted support from comics Keir McAllister, Vladimir McTavish and JoJo Sutherland as well as footballers Michael Weir and Gary Mackay.

There are several other festival events which are raising money for Waverley Care. The Friday and Sunday Fundraisers at the New Town Bar will be asking audience members to make a donation instead of paying an entrance fee.

A benefit performance of Africa Calling, by the Grassroots Theatre Company, is 
taking place at Paradise in Augustines on August 10 and 25, and the Loud and Proud Choir will be performing and raising money for the charity at Stockbridge Parish Church.

Off the Kerb are also putting on their own comedy benefit at the Festival Theatre on August 23, featuring Shappi Khorsandi, Jimeoin, Daniel Simonsen, Jason Byrne, Russell Kane and many more.

This year’s Tartan Ribbon Comedy Benefit is at 8pm on August 14.