Clare College Alumni

    

Alumnus of the Year 2012: Dr Alice Welbourn (1979)

Dr Alice Welbourn (1979) has spent her career working to raise the profile of HIV positive women. She is the founder of Stepping Stones, co-founder and chair of trustees for the Sophia Forum and the Director of the Salamander Trust.

Alice came to Clare as an Anthropology PhD student in 1979, and then lived and worked in Somalia for five years until in 1989 the deteriorating security situation in Mogadishu forced her to move to Kenya. A year later, she returned to England with her two children. In 1992, with no symptoms but as a result of a routine antenatal test, she discovered she was HIV positive. At the time, when no treatment was yet available, the diagnosis felt like a death sentence, made all the worse by not being able to share it with others due to the stigma attached to it. However, Alice decided to create something positive out of adversity. 

She went on to develop the Stepping Stones training package, designed to help individuals and communities learn to cope with HIV, and later founded the Sophia Forum and became Director of the Salamander Trust. Alice continues to work tirelessly, dividing her time between these small but vital organisations. She has one full-time paid Research Officer and some part-time help. She works from home in Devon and she is not paid for any of the work.

Listen to her speech at half-way hall.