|Marking Lass's success are Alastair Hudson, trustee, Juliet Kisob, HIV service manager, Narinder Popat, volunteer, Jenny Hand, chief executive, and Evernice Tirivanhu trustee|
Health charity "outstanding"
by Cathy Buss, Health Correspondent
The work of a charity in helping people affected by HIV has earned it a top 10 place in a national awards scheme.
Leicestershire Aids Support Services (Lass) was one of the winners of the GlaxoSmith Kline Impact award for its "outstanding contribution to improving health" in the county.
The award, run by the King's Fund, a health care improvement charity, carried a £30,000 prize.
Celia Fisher, sexual health promotion co-ordinator with Lass, said: "It is just fantastic to be named as one of the top 10 charities for the impact of our work.
"We will use the money to strengthen lots of areas of our work and perhaps add some different services."
Lass has a staff of 16 and about 70 volunteers who help provide services.
It provides rapid HIV testing, support, information and help to people affected by HIV and AIDS.
Volunteers have been trained to carry out the testing and to provide information in some African communities, where there is a low uptake in getting tests or treatment.
The charity, set up 25 years ago, works with about 600 people affected by HIV and carries out about 400 tests each year.
Lisa Weaks, Third Sector programme manager at the King's Fund, said: "Congratulations to Lass, a strong winner in these awards.
"Its work providing support for people with HIV and bringing testing into communities is making a real difference to people's lives."
Patrick Bowe, chairman of the Lass board of trustees, said: "We are absolutely delighted to be recognised at this high level for the impact of our local work.
"Our testing programme is contributing to Government public health targets and has already saved the health service more than £3 million through encouraging more people to have an HIV test and know their HIV status.
"This huge achievement for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland is due to the continued commitment by a great team of staff and volunteers."
Lass has also won national funding from HIV Prevention EnglandMs Fisher said: "The total award was for £70,000 and through Lass we are working to raise awareness of HIV in African communities.To mark the success of the awards the charity held a celebratory event at its city offices on Monday. To watch a video about Lass's work go to:www.kingsfund.org.uk/audio-video/2013-gsk-impact-awards-leicestershire-aids-support-services