Friday, 30 September 2011

BROKEN SILENCE Youth Charity Show - 1 October 2011

Broken Silence
21 Tookey Close
T: 07933 423 627
21st September 2011



A group of young people suffering from the blood disorder, sickle cell disease, are hosting a star-studded talent show in order to raise awareness and understanding of sickle cell disease (SCD) and highlight its devastating effects on the lives of those people who have it. 

The annual Broken Silence talent show takes place on the 1st October at Brent Town Hall in Wembley and will be hosted by comedian Wayne 'Dibbi' Rollins & AJ King from Kiss FM.
Contestants will be judged by a panel of experts including upcoming, funky house artist – Big Man Zest, Realz from So Solid Crew, DJ Gussy of Roots FM, Aicha McKensie, founder of the AMCK dance agency, Andrew Tayo, Founder of UBand and soon to launch UBand TV, and Darren Dixon, Co-owner of Above and Beyond (AAB) talent agency.

Talent show guests will also be treated to some very special guest performances by Realz and Big Man Zest. 

There will be 16 acts in the final show representing various talents including singers, dancers and MCs chosen from the hundreds of auditioning acts from across the UK. 

The talent show is also being supported by U-Band and My Hood. UBand is an exciting digital music media agency helping to shape the UK music industry. UBand will award the winning contestant of each category with a professional photo shoot to help further their professional career. My Hood, a fashion label making a difference to urban culture, will be showcasing their varied designs with a catwalk performance during the event. 

Ellen Wright of My Hood said: 'My Hood has always built our brand on the message that we want people to be proud of where they come from and be positive about where they can get to. Broken Silence embodies all that we believe in - set up by a group of young people (all sufferers of SCD) and helping to fight for the rights of so many people affected by SCD in the UK - we find them truly inspiring. It is an honour to be able to support such a wonderful charity, which does such valuable work within the community and around the country.'

About sickle cell disease
Sickle cell disease is a genetic blood disorder affecting the red blood cells, and is mainly found in people of black and ethnic minorities. It is estimated that in the UK, 12,500 people have SCD. The condition can cause severe anaemia, damage to major organs and infections. Sickle cell is caused by inherited genes that create defective blood cells. People with sickle cell have sickle-shaped blood cells that can build up and cause blockages in small blood vessels, causing severe pain known as sickle cell crisis. Patients may require blood transfusions every 3-4 weeks.

About Broken Silence
Broken Silence is a registered charity founded in 2004 by four teenagers with sickle cell disease in memory of their friend, Leona Dehaney who died from complications relating to the disease. Broken Silence campaigns for the rights of people with SCD.

Nordia James, one of the founding members of Broken Silence was diagnosed with sickle cell at six years old:

“I’ve experienced immense pain throughout my childhood because of sickle cell. I’m regularly rushed to hospital for blood transfusions or injections because of the disease.”
Sickle Cell is one of the most commonly inherited genetic disorders in the country.
The charity has gained the support of a number of celebrities (including Kiss FM, MTV Base and Choice FM stars), community radio stations, well-known singers and stars from the stage and screen including: Choice FM, Unique FM, Roots FM, Shola Ama and her sister Sadie, reggae legend Tippa Irie and ITV’s ‘The Bill’ actor Clifford Samuel. The team is also supported by a number of commercial and community organisations including; Genesis Community Chest, Brent Council’s Harlesden and Stonebridge, Regeneration & Renewal Team and the Jack Petchey Foundation.

Giving blood
Broken Silence would like to urge the public to register with the ACLT (African Caribbean Leukemia Trust) to give blood. Since sickle cell sufferers require regular blood transfusions in order to lower the amount of haemoglobin S red blood cells in the body. When there are fewer sickled haemoglobin S cells in the bloodstream, they are less likely to build up and block blood vessels.

Blood transfusions also increases the number of normal red blood cells in the body, increasing the supply of oxygen to the body.

To purchase tickets for the final show, please visit 

Tickets for final show are £10 for adults and £7 for children. Please show your support.
For more information about U-Band, please visit:

For more information about My Hood, please visit:


To arrange an interview with Broken Silence:

Julia Flint 0207 025 6411
Hannah Stuart 07985 197 374


* Sickle Cell is increasing within black communities in the UK. The majority of people who are affected by the disorder are black. 

* People of West African heritage are more likely to be affected with up to 30 per cent being carriers, but even amongst the African Caribbean community eight to 10 per cent are affected. Broken Silence is also calling for more people, especially from the black community to be screened for the Sickle Cell.

* There has been very little research into treating Sickle Cell and sufferers can’t get free prescriptions unlike people with diabetes or cystic fibrosis - also long-term medical conditions. 

* Sickle Cell affects the red blood cells, carry oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body. Normally red blood cells are donut-shaped and flexible but in people with Sickle Cell their red blood cells become inflexible and ‘sickle’ shaped. ‘Sickled’ red blood cells can’t squeeze through small blood vessels as easily as normal red blood cells, leading to these blood vessels becoming blocked and stopping oxygen passing through the body. The result can be death, damage to organs or severe pain (or ‘crisis’).

* Broken Silence is a registered UK charity founded in 2004 by four teenagers with Sickle Cell Disease in memory of Leona Dehaney, who sadly died from complications relating to the disease. It campaigns for the rights of (mainly young) people with Sickle Cell Disease. Among other activities, produces an annual talent show for dancers, singers and group acts to raise awareness of SCD.