On Monday 29th November, we re-opened our office after the phase-one of our refurbishment.
We have been based at our headquarters in Brent for over 40 years; during this time no major works or refurbishment had been undertaken.
In 2019, we secured the lease-hold of the Ground Floor to the adjoining building with the view to develop our existing premises and the neighbouring ground floor shop space into a comfortable, accessible and welcoming reception area and meeting space for the sickle cell community.
We are extremely grateful to four key funders who awarded the Society with grants to fund this first stage of our refurbishment. Brent Council were the impetus in terms of their initial grant, received via the Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levey (NCIL). This enabled us to leverage grants from the Garfield Weston, Clothworkers and Bernard Sunley Foundations to completely fund Phase 1. We were able to begin the first phase of refurbishment: downstairs.
At the end of November, we were excited to be able to invite a handful of guests (keeping COVID safe) to celebrate the re-opening of the offices and to show off the refurbishment.
The event started by welcoming in the guests for light refreshments. Guests included the former Mayor of Brent and dedicated supporter, Cllr Ernest Ezeajughi and his wife, Sickle Cell Society staff and trustees, the architects and project manager, community activists, and other stakeholders and supporters. We also welcomed guests virtually, with our new conference system, including SCS patron, Professor Dame Elizabeth Anionwu.
The office refurbishment has enabled the installation of the new conference system, which can be used to integrate virtual and in-person meetings helping us to be more flexible and accessible.
Cllr Ernest Ezeajughi opened the official part of the event by welcoming everyone and speaking about the work of the Sickle Cell Society over the last 40 plus years. He then unveiled the plaque, to mark the official opening.
Chair of Trustees, Kye Gbangbola then gave a short speech followed by a few words from Dame Elizabeth Anionwu.
The event concluded with a few group photos in front of the plaque and in front of the building.
The downstairs refurbishment is just phase one of our plans to improve the building. We are now actively fundraising, from Trusts & Foundations and Corporate organisations interested in our cause to refurbish the 2nd and 3rd floors of our Community Hub and Headquarters in Station Road.
Individual donations from our supporters and members only go towards supporting our work to directly improve the lives of those living with sickle cell. This means we are seeking extra funds to enable Phase 2 of our refurbishment can go ahead.
If you would like to donate to Phase 2 of our refurbishment project, please support us by donating here: www.sicklecellsociety.org/donate/ and in the Reason for Gift box put Office Refurbishment.
Photos from the Event