Charity chooses St Mark’s Studios as European HQ

mothers2mothers, an international charity that works in Africa to empower mothers living with HIV to build healthier families and futures, has chosen St Mark’s Studios, the Needspace? business centre in Islington, as the base for its European operation.

Formed 15 years ago in South Africa, the charity uses a high-impact peer-to-peer approach to train and employ local mothers as frontline healthcare workers in their communities.  This ‘Mentor Mother Model’ provides essential health education to other women on how they can protect their babies from HIV infection and keep themselves and their families healthy. An external evaluation of m2m’s work in Uganda alone found that for every $1 spent on their programme, $11.40 is saved in averted HIV treatment costs.

So far, the charity has reached more than 1.4 million women living with HIV in nine countries, and while tremendous progress has been made over the last decade, more than 400 babies are still infected with HIV globally each day. About 75% of these children live in sub-Saharan Africa, and most acquire HIV from their mothers that would have been entirely preventable with improved education and inexpensive, effective medical interventions.

An office in South Kensington was set up five years ago to fundraise and improve awareness of the charity in Europe.  Growth of m2m’s team coincided with their landlord’s decision to change the use of the premises they were sharing, and in March 2016, the time was right to make a move to Needspace?

Annabelle McGregor, European Communications & Partnerships Manager of m2m, recalls: ‘There was team consensus when we found St Mark’s – we could see ourselves working here from the start.  It’s a beautiful building with amazing light spaces, but has obviously been designed to be socially conscious, which of course is really important to us too.

“The Needspace? team couldn’t have been more helpful, even fitting a dividing wall to separate our space to suit us in just two days before we moved in!

“And the other businesses here couldn’t have been more welcoming and friendly; there’s a real community feel which is a real plus.”

To find out more about m2m’s work or help to eliminate paediatric AIDS by making a donation, please visit www.m2m.org

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