About OSCAR Sandwell

Our History

OSCAR Sandwell is a registered charity (1080599) and company limited by guarantee (3736648) that was established in 1988 to promote the well being of sufferers of Sickle Cell Anaemia and Thalassaemia.
Organisation for Sickle Cell Anaemia Research and Thalassaemia Support (OSCAR) was first set up in the United Kingdom in 1975. OSCAR was developed to provide a direct service to the public and act as a link between Sickle Cell sufferers and the communities that were at risk from the conventional service providers.

Research was promoted into the blood disorder, out cry for better services, increase public awareness and screening and in turn offering counselling and support to sufferers and their families.  In 1988 OSCAR Sandwell was formed and followed the lead of other regional and local based voluntary non-profit organisation providers, they followed the lead of the national initiative to fight for a voice in getting Sickle Cell Anaemia and Thalassaemia on the agenda of their local respective authorities.

OSCAR Sandwell sought to develop and establish a range of similar services independently from the local authority, to meet the complex issues that affect those who have the blood disorders of Sickle Cell Anaemia and Thalassaemia.  Over the past 22 years OSCAR Sandwell has committed much of its resources into promoting the well-being of those affected by Sickle Cell Anaemia and Thalassaemia as well as aiming to meet each sufferer’s individual needs whilst supporting their families and the wider community.

Mr Ronald Beckford
Mr Ronald Beckford Chairman 1989 – 2006

For 16 years as chairman Mr Beckford was at the forefront of this Organisation as a leading light and a driving force to be reckoned with.  Along with staff and volunteers they truly established a well founded organisation that is locally, nationally and internationally know for its work and contribution to the community at large.   There were very tough times in raising funding, awareness of the disorders and establishing a central point where any and everyone, including sufferers and their carers, could walk through the door and be comforted with help and guidance.

Sonia Lindsay
Mrs Sonia Lindsay

Mrs Sonia Lindsay, Manager of the Centre for 20? years, was extremely dedicated to the cause.  With Sickle experience in her immediate family she was fully aware of the need to provide a place and support where those in need would have that feeling of comfort and belonging.  Sonia`s dedication new no bounds and therefore influenced many others to follow suite in her pursuit of trying to find the best in all areas for those in need. Her great enthusiasm gathered links  and created a network with many organisations, including hospitals, companies, schools and universities.  Sonia craved success and for her endeavour she gained recognition and awards at very high levels.  This, therefore, raised the profile of the Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia and indeed OSCAR Sandwell Organisation as a charity.

It was a very, very sad loss to many, many whose lives had been touched by Sonia and her work, when she died at such a young age. Her memory will be indelibly etched in the mind of countless individuals whose lives were touched in some way by her outstanding effort and endeavour in the field of Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia support.


As a community based organisation we also endeavour to support a number of local community initiatives and organisations.  OSCAR Sandwell focuses its services more specifically on the expressed needs of sufferers, carers and their families.

In addition to working directly with sufferers and their families, OSCAR also works to promote a greater understanding towards these blood disorders.  This nature of work is predominantly carried out through training and health promotion events targeted at health professionals and the wider community.

OSCAR Sandwell has grown enormously over the years with an extending awareness and understanding towards the particular problems that are associated with these two blood disorders.  OSCAR Sandwell sees it self as a specialist organisation whose services are relied upon their clients and often feel that having knowledge of their condition helps us to understand their needs.

Senior Citizens
Senior Citizens of OSCAR`s past and present Mr Ronald Beckford, Mr Roy Hewitt MBE JP & Mr Clarence Cameron

In the inception and even more so recently, the purpose built accommodation in 1998 that OSCAR Sandwell operate from have seen the fundamental changes in the activities, services and understanding that Sickle Cell Anaemia and Thalassaemia suffers receive.

An individual who has been a cornerstone of the organisation, in more ways than one, is our beloved Mrs Nelson.  In the construction of OSCAR`s building Mrs Nelson paid for one of the bricks to show her loyalty, dedication and contribution to the concept of what the organisation represent in the community.  To date she actively support many activities and still displays a passion and fire from within her being for the furtherance of OSCAR Sandwell.

OSCAR receives its main source of funding for our core services through two service level agreements with the Local Authority and Primary Care Trust.  Other sources of funding have come from National Lottery (Thalassaemia Project), New Deal for Communities Regeneration Fund, Local Town Team, Local Children Network as well as much appreciated donations and our own efforts to fundraise.