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“Young Bloods” Project

September 2023 – Success Stories

Haemophilia Scotland

Edinburgh

Haemophilia Scotland is a nonprofit organisation dedicated to enhancing the lives of individuals with bleeding disorders. With over 3,500 people diagnosed with bleeding disorders in Scotland, the challenges of isolation, social exclusion, and economic disadvantages are pervasive due to the rarity and misunderstanding of these conditions. Haemophilia Scotland, however, has risen to the occasion by providing comprehensive support through staff assistance, an informative website, and a newsletter called “The Wire.” Additionally, the organization’s vibrant events, such as the CLAN Gathering, Women’s Conference ‘Community Days Out to foster a sense of community and understanding.

The Project

A new facet of Haemophilia Scotland’s work is the “Young Bloods” project, which aims to empower children and teenagers living with bleeding disorders. The project, spanning three years, demonstrates the charity’s commitment to addressing the unique challenges faced by different age groups within their community. In 2022, The Essentia Foundation supported the organisation with a three-year award of £9,000.00 to get the project off the ground. It was hoped that the first year of the project would result in the publication of a comic that could be distributed across Scotland as a means of educating people on what it is like to live with a bleeding disorder as well as exploring the common misconceptions around these conditions.

12 months on, the project has made considerable progress. Haemophilia Scotland collaborated with Magic Torch Comics, a charitable organisation known for creative community projects across Scotland. Children aged 6-12 participated in workshops in Edinburgh, where they learned the art of workshopping their ideas and creating comic books. Through these workshops, children shared their challenges and positive experiences of living with blood disorders. The result is a 12-page comic, collaboratively crafted with contributions from various artists.

This project not only engaged the young participants but also established a creative platform for them to share their stories and experiences. This is the first project of its kind in Scotland and it is hoped that the comic book will be distributed across hospitals, health centres and schools nationwide.

The Impact

In August 2023, a group of Essentia trustees journeyed to Edinburgh to meet the organisation and learn more about the project. Hameophilia Scotland talked more broadly about bleeding disorders in Scotland and were able to give the Trustees an advanced copy of the finished comic book before its official launch!

Through innovative initiatives like the “Young Bloods” project, Haemophilia Scotland is not only providing practical support but also creating a platform for self-expression and growth. By enabling young individuals to share their experiences, challenges, and successes, the organization is fostering a resilient community that defies isolation and empowers its members to live life fully. The “Young Bloods” project stands as a testament to the transformative impact of creative engagement and tailored support for individuals with bleeding disorders.

If you are interested in learning more about this fantastic project and the final comic book, click on the link here.

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