A T-shirt inspired by Russell T Davies’ acclaimed TV series It’s A Sin has reached an incredible fundraising milestone, raising hundreds of thousands pounds for charity.
Earlier this year, It’s A Sin was released on Channel 4, telling the story of a group of young gay men and their friends in the midst of the Aids crisis in London in the 1980s.
The close-knit friendship group would greet each other by saying ‘La’, a catchphrase that has since gained popularity among fans of the show.
T-shirts created by designer Philip Normal with ‘La’ written on the front, which were sold to raise money for HIV and sexual health charity the Terrence Higgins Trust, have since raised more than £500,000 for the organisation.
Several celebrities have been photographed wearing the T-shirt, including TV presenter Dermot O’Leary, comedian Tom Allen, Dr Ranj Singh and Beverley Knight, a patron for the charity.
Designer Philip, who is living with HIV, was captured by Tower Bridge in London alongside Ian Green, chief executive of the Terrence Higgins Trust, alongside others who have bought the item of clothing.
Nathaniel Curtis, who played fan-favourite Ash in the five-part drama, also shared a picture of himself wearing the T-shirt.
Philip said the fundraising success of the T-shirt is ‘just beyond my wildest dreams’, as he admitted that he thought that he’d ‘only sell a couple of T-shirts’.
‘I’m so grateful to the cast and crew of It’s A Sin for creating this moment for us to talk about HIV in the UK and I want to thank everyone who has bought a T-shirt and helped us raise such a phenomenal amount of money for the Terrence Higgins Trust and their vital work to get us to no new HIV cases by 2030,’ he said.
It’s A Sin writer Russell said that he ‘couldn’t be more proud of the fact that one of the many great legacies of this show has been to raise so much money for Terrence Higgins Trust’.
‘I would like to pay tribute to wonderful Philip Normal for making the most of the moment that It’s A Sin created and thank everyone who has bought a T-shirt to support efforts to tackle the stigma still surrounding HIV,’ he added.
The money raised from sales of the T-shirt will be used to fund a campaign challenging the stigma surrounding HIV, by celebrating the achievements of individuals since they were diagnosed as positive.
Philip and 12 other people are taking part in the campaign, which will also provide counselling and help to develop training in workplaces to make the work environments more HIV inclusive.
‘Congratulations to Philip Normal for hitting this amazing target,’ said Terrence Higgins Trust chief executive Ian.
‘Everyone at Terrence Higgins Trust is so grateful to each and every person who has stepped up and bought a shirt to support our work.
‘The money is helping to fund a new nationwide campaign to tackle HIV stigma because although much has changed since the days of It’s A Sin sadly the stigma around HIV is still all too present.’
It’s A Sin is available to watch on All 4.
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