The Hepatitis C Trust’s plans for the biggest World Hepatitis Day yet

The Hepatitis C Trust’s staff and volunteers will be taking part in activity across the UK tomorrow to make this World Hepatitis Day the biggest yet.

As part of the 2021 World Hepatitis Day, which takes place on 28th July every year, The Hepatitis C Trust will be involved in almost 200 events across the country.

The activity will include our ‘Four Nations prison testing and awareness events’, which will see The Hepatitis C Trust work with partners to deliver a World Hepatitis Day event in a prison in each of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (HMP Wormwood Scrubs, HMP Glenochil, HMP Berwyn and HMP Maghaberry). The events will involve testing the prison population for hepatitis C and providing awareness-raising training to staff and the prison population. The Hepatitis C Trust’s community peers will be taking part in initiatives in partnership with ODNs, drug services and other partners all across the country.

Other activity will include high-profile buildings across the UK being lit up purple to mark the day and raise awareness of hepatitis C. Buildings turning purple for the day include St Andrew’s House in Edinburgh, the headquarters of the Scottish Government, hospitals in Leicester and Plymouth, the Sunderland Football Club ground, the University of Huddersfield and many more besides (see a map here). The Hepatitis C Trust has also coordinated statements of support for World Hepatitis Day from senior politicians from across the UK, including Public Health Minister Jo Churchill, Scottish Public Health Minister Maree Todd and First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford.

To kick the day off, The Hepatitis C Trust’s Director of Community Services Stuart Smith will be participating in the NHS England and NHS Improvement Hepatitis C Virus Elimination Programme virtual ‘kick-off’ online event, taking place from 8am. The event will involve speakers celebrating the achievements of the hepatitis C elimination programme to date and highlighting activity taking place for World Hepatitis Day. Those interested in attending can find out more and register here.

To keep the World Hepatitis Day activity going beyond the day itself, The Hepatitis C Trust will on Saturday (30th July) be hosting an online day of music and talks. The event will feature music from guitarist Davey Johnstone, most famous for his collaborations with Elton John, and house music pioneer Jesse Saunders, as well as live talks from peers with lived experience of hepatitis C. The event will last from 12 noon until 7pm, and those interested can sign up on the Event page here or simply visit The Hepatitis C Trust’s Facebook page on Saturday.

In the months leading up to World Hepatitis Day, The Hepatitis C Trust’s staff and volunteers have been taking part in a ‘round the world’ challenge to walk/run/cycle/swim a total of 40,075km – the distance around the world – ahead of World Hepatitis Day. Thanks to the hard work and perseverance of all involved, the challenge was completed ahead of time, 18 days before the deadline. You can find out more about the challenge and donate to The Hepatitis C Trust’s peer programme and mental health charity Mind here.

Rachel Halford, Chief Executive of The Hepatitis C Trust, said: “We are all incredibly excited to make this World Hepatitis Day the biggest yet. With many services having opened up in recent weeks, we are delighted to be able to get out across the country to raise awareness of hepatitis C, offer testing and support people to access treatment. I myself will be taking part in a testing event at HMP Wormwood Scrubs and our amazing staff and volunteers will be taking part in activity right across the UK with the many wonderful partner organisations we have the pleasure of working with. By working together, we will achieve the elimination of hepatitis C in the UK within the next few years.”