A new counselling service which aims to ease the suffering of people with a life-limiting disease has been launched.

The new St Albans charity, which began on April 6 at The Crescent Support Group in Russell Avenue, will provide much needed counselling and emotional care for those affected by HIV.

The service was launched by Hertfordshire MEP, Alex Mayer as part of a World Health Day celebration, on April 7. Ms Mayer is a patron of The Crescent.

The charity hopes to provide vital support to people living with HIV, while helping them gain access to health and social care.

Additional funding for the scheme came from the Make a Difference Trust, Rowlandsons jewellers and the Hertfordshire Community Foundation.

Labour’s Alex Mayer, said: “The theme of this years World Health Day is universal access to healthcare and I am pleased to be able to launch this new counselling which will both support and give advice on gaining access to health and social care.

"I am deeply proud to be a patron of this fantastic local charity on World Health Day and to celebrate the great work The Crescent do in supporting local people who live with HIV.”

Head of operations at The Crescent, Iain Murtagh, said: “The support from Herts Community Foundation, Rowlandsons and the MAD Trust has really made a difference for the Crescent.

“It has enabled us to give a consistent counselling service to people who greatly need it for the next year.”

The Crescent Support Group is at 19 Russell Avenue, St Albans, AL3 5ES.

Further information can be found at http://www.thecrescent.org.uk/