Publish date: 13 April 2022
London hospitals North Mid, University College London Hospitals (UCLH) and Whittington Health are together partnering up to launch further support and help for children and young people living with sickle cell.
The three leading London hospitals are running a fun, uplifting but informative event later this year for the hundreds of children and young people living with this life threatening disorder and their families in north London.
In collaboration with Tottenham Hotspur Football Club and charities, the completely free event will be being held at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on the afternoon of Saturday 25th June 2022.
Sickle cell is the most common inherited single gene disorder in the UK and affects primarily people of black African and black Caribbean ethnicity.
Children and young people with sickle cell face a multitude of acute and chronic complications that can occur from early childhood and the life expectancy for adults with the disorder is sadly shortened.
The event will not only aim to provide the families affected with advice and health promotion, but will also allow the hospitals to further support children and young people in north London, who are disproportionately impacted by sickle cell.
Alongside play areas for young children, exciting activities and entertainment including magicians and face painters, there will be a panel of health experts, inspirational adults living with the disorder and much, much more.
Dr Andrea Leigh, consultant in Paediatrics and Haemoglobinopathies at UCLH, said: “At The Red Cell Network, we’re so excited to be working with Tottenham Hotspur, other charities and nearby hospitals to host this fun family event. The event will have a festival feel and will give patients and families a much needed boost. More importantly, it will allow them to connect with each other, share experiences and make friends. Sickle cell experts will also be on hand to give crucial advice and tips to help guide them in their journeys and to help ensure people stay as healthy as possible when living with sickle cell.”
Dr Olu Wilkey, paediatric consultant at North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust, added: “We can’t wait to welcome some of the young people in our community living with sickle cell to this inspiring event. It will be a fantastic day for all allowing children, teenagers and families to connect with each other and learn in a warming and uplifting environment. It shows the positive impact we can have when teaming up with our partners in north central London.”
Edith Aimiuwu, a clinical nurse specialist at Whittington Health NHS Trust who works with young people with sickle cell, said: “We know people living with sickle cell sometimes say they receive poor experiences of care and we are working hard to change this across the NHS in north central London. We hope that this event will be a fun way for them to find out more about the illness, understand their bodies better, whilst helping them to stay healthy and manage their conditions more effectively and take more control.”
Donna-Maria Cullen, Executive Director at Tottenham Hotspur, said: “We are delighted to open our doors once again to the NHS and host this hugely important event. Since opening our Stadium we have been determined to ensure it acts as a civic building and community hub for a range of activities. We know that sickle cell disease is particularly prominent in our local community which makes this event even more important. This partnership with London hospitals enables us to build on our long-standing support for local NHS services and we are looking forward to hosting families from across the local area.”