During the mid-1980s Fr David Randall, who founded Cara, had been providing pastoral care for people living with HIV/AIDS in his West London parish of St Clement's, Notting Dale. In 1987 his bishop encouraged him to take a sabbatical year in the USA, working as a chaplain in a San Francisco hospital where there were many AIDS patients.
On his return to London in 1988 he started Cara with a launch meeting in St Stephen's hospital, Fulham Road, where he worked for 2 days a week on the Thomas Macaulay ward.
Their mission is to reduce the impact of HIV through providing support, information, advocacy and advice to people living with, or affected by, the virus, and by undertaking training and education to the wider spiritual and faith communities.
This mission is underpinned by the following commitments: To ensure that people living with or affected by HIV are central in the organisation, influencing policy and service development and actively contributing to decision-making processes.
To offer safe and welcoming environments which offer time and space for meeting the diverse needs of service users, service providers and visitors.
To challenge oppression and prejudice, structural and personal, promoting equality of opportunity and diversity, and speaking up for social justice where these factors impinge on the work of this charity.
To strive to support the development needs of volunteers and staff; that will enable us to more effectively meet the Mission.