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Sickle Cell Warriors Project: London Research Trip

On Friday 25th August 2023, the Sickle Cell & Thalassaemia Support Project took a handful of young people affected by sickle cell disease on a London research trip. This was organised by The New Black Film Collective as part of their Sickle Cell Warriors Project.

The Sickle Cell Warriors Project is funded by the BBC Children in Need's We Move Fund: Youth Social Action. The purpose of this project is to give young people affected by sickle cell the chance to share their stories through film and work together to increase awareness of the condition.

A group of us embarked on an enlightening research trip to London. Our journey took us to prominent institutions such as the Science Museum, Imperial College and Hammersmith Hospital, where we gained profound insights into the advancements in sickle cell research and treatment.

A Glimpse into the Science Museum

Our first stop on this enlightening journey was the iconic Science Museum in London. Here, we delved into the fascinating world of medical science and innovation. Exhibitions at the museum included Medicine: The Welcome Galleries, Exploring Space, Who am I? and many more.

two young people having a photo at the science museum in london
Young People at the Science Museum London

Imperial College: The Epicenter of Research

Imperial College, a renowned institution at the forefront of scientific research, was our next destination. Here we were given exclusive access to the laboratories and met with researchers who are tirelessly working to find new ways of improving the lives of sickle cell patients. We learned about the groundbreaking studies, innovative therapies and the dedication of scientists striving to improve the lives of those affected.

Young people at the lab where they research sickle cell disease at Imperial College London
Exploring the lab where they conduct research around sickle cell disease

We also visited Hammersmith Hospital, where compassion meets cutting-edge care. The hospital staff welcomed us with open arms, showcasing the exceptional care they provide to sickle cell patients. We toured the specialised sickle cell unit and were able to learn about red blood cell exchange. We were deeply moved by the dedication of the healthcare professionals who work tirelessly to alleviate the pain and suffering of those with these conditions.

Young people discussing sickle cell disease and the importance of awareness with Professor Julie Makani
Discussing Sickle Cell Disease and the Importance of Awareness with Professor Julie Makani

We were introduced to the latest treatments, ongoing clinical trials, and support programs designed to empower patients and their families. It was heartening to witness the collaborative efforts of healthcare providers, researchers and support organisations working together to make a difference in the lives of sickle cell and thalassaemia patients.

A massive thank you to The New Black Film Collective, Sickle Cell Society, Imperial College and Hammersmith Hospital for inviting us on the London Research Trip. It was an enlightening experience enjoyed by all. Together, we can continue to bring hope and progress to ensure that those affected receive the support and treatment they deserve.


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