Two children hugging their mother outside a house

Empowering young people through youth-social action

Siana and her family are beneficiaries of Cianna’s Smile, a charity providing vital support for people affected by Sickle Cell disease. And earlier this year we caught up with her to find out what difference the project has made to her life.

Cianna’s Smile is one of 13 projects which received funding as part of the first round of the Sovereign #iwill Fund. The group was awarded nearly £8,000 to launch a new Youth Advocacy Programme for 10-18 year olds in the Thames Valley, which Siana took part in.

Learning first aid, CPR training and plenty about healthy eating and nutrition she says the project has had a hugely positive impact on her.

Knowing how to help others if they need urgent first aid and developing financial skills are just some of her most memorable highlights.

The Youth Advocacy Programme, which was delivered through a series of expert-led sessions and workshops, was designed to promote awareness of Sickle Cell disease. The programme had clear aspirations to empower more young people so they could go on and launch effective campaigns in support of those living with the condition.

Asked if she would recommend the project Siana said: “Yes I would definitely tell friends. I would love to do it again.”

She went on to describe her involvement with the charity as a “wonderful experience” and one which has both empowered her and given her confidence a real boost.