Sickle Cell Society: Charity of the Month

Sickle Cell Society is the only national charity in the UK which supports and represents people affected by Sickle Cell.

Set up as a registered charity in 1979, the Society was formed by a group of patients, parents and health professionals who were all concerned about the lack of understanding and the inadequacy of treatment for people living with Sickle Cell.

Sickle Cell is particularly common in people of an African or Caribbean family background. People with Sickle Cell are born with a condition, as it can only be inherited from both parents each having passed on the gene for Sickle Cell.

They work with members of the Black community to raise awareness of the condition and to provide help and support to those living with the condition.

Last year Sickle Cell’s Helpline received 696 calls and 1428 emails from people living with sickle cell asking for our help and support. We reached over 9500 people directly and over 66,000 indirectly via events and social media. In addition, over 997 people took part in online events run by the Sickle Cell Society in the last year. All those who access support are typically from an African or Caribbean background.

A lot of our work centres around children and young people and each year we also deliver a virtual children’s holiday, aimed at those living with, or affected by sickle cell. This is a vital service to helping connect families with each other for peer support. One area of our work includes collaborating with the NHS Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia screening programme to screen for Sickle Cell and this is an area we have been focusing on growing.

They also run programmes throughout London and the UK to help recruit blood donors, particularly donors from the black community and partner with local gyms to help achieve this. In the last year we have recruited 328 new blood donors. The Society benefits from the support of a wide range of individuals and organisations nationally, who together play a vital role in its success. Without this, we would be unable to finance essential research and educational projects and we would be unable to offer children a much-needed holiday.