AIDS Charity AVERT | Sainsburys, Annabel Kanabus


It was 1985 and I was living in Sussex with my husband and two young children. My husband worked on our farm, and I helped when our children were at school.

I come from a family known for its supermarket business, J Sainsbury. I had inherited some shares in the company and I had decided that I would give most of this money away. Unsure of which charities to give this money to, I put the money in a charitable trust, the Bucklebury Trust, so leaving to another time the decision of what to do with it.

This is how in 1985 I came to be reading the hundreds of letters sent to the Bucklebury Trust asking for money for a variety of charitable activities. Almost all the letters seemed rather boring, asking for money for doing charitable work very similar to many other organisations. But just occasionally a letter would justify more than one quick look, and this website is the story of how one such letter changed my life and affected how I would spend the next 25 years.

You can read about how we started AVERT and how I learnt in practice about the stigma of HIV/AIDS in the 1980s. How I came to set up an AIDS website educating millions of people, and about how we travelled the world from the brothels of India to the poorest of townships in South Africa helping community AIDS organisations.

Annabel Kanabus