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Empowering young haemophiliacs through sport and movement

Little Bleeders is a charity that supports young people with blood disorders to “move more and be more”. It was set up by professional cyclist and severe Haemophiliac Alex Dowsett.

What we do

About Little Bleeders

Little Bleeders encourages young people with bleeding disorders to participate in sport, particularly swimming and cycling, as a way of managing their condition. Because of the risks associated with bleeds in haemophiliacs, it can be difficult for families to resist “wrapping their children in cotton wool”.

We support young people with bleeding disorders and their families to see that despite their condition, a fulfilling, healthy and normal life can be lived. No cotton wool needed!

What is Haemophilia?

1 in 10,000

males in the UK are
affected by Haemophilia

What is Haemophilia?

Haemophilia is a rare medical condition that affects the blood's ability to clot. It's usually inherited, although one in three babies born with haemophilia will have no known family history of it. Most people who have haemophilia are male.

Alex's story

Little Bleeders was established by professional cyclist Alex Dowsett in 2016. Alex is the only known sports person to compete at an able bodied elite level with haemophilia. Little Bleeders uses Alex’s story to show that despite a bleeding disorder, a fulfilling and extraordinary life can be lived.

Read Alex's Story

How we can support you

Little Bleeders is here to help families of young haemophiliacs in all sorts of ways.

New diagnosis

Finding out you or your child has a bleeding disorder can be a huge time of change and upheaval. We offer mentors to act as a sounding board and support person to help you through the first phase of the journey.

Support for schools

We work closely with The Haemophilia Society and health professionals to provide hands-on education for teachers and students to learn about haemophilia. This involves important ‘know-how’ surrounding how to minimize risk for haemophiliac students and what to do when a bleed occurs.

Making the right decisions around sport and activity

Getting young haemophiliacs into safe sports is a big goal of ours. We offer guidance and support for the practicalities of treatment management, risk assessment and preparing local teams and coaches for helping a Little Bleeder.

Healthy & active living

Moderate exercise has many benefits for those with haemophilia. It helps to build strong musculoskeletal support to help minimize the risk of joint bleeds. We also provide guidance and support on healthy diet choices for all ages.

Information and advice

If you need resources or advice about safe sports and activities we’ve got the tools for you.

See our resources →

The Little Bleeders Fund

The Little Bleeders Fund provides grants for young haemophiliacs under 18 wanting to participate in sport and mobile activities. Grants are available to help towards the cost of sports clothing, equipment, travel, camps, education and personal development.

Contact us

If you are struggling financially, there are a number of resources and benefits you may be entitled to. Check these helpful guidelines from The Haemophilia Society.

How you can get involved

Become an Ambassador

Are you a parent to a haemophiliac and would like to provide support to newly diagnosed families? Our mentorship programme links parents facing a new diagnosis together with parents who have been through the journey themselves to create a lasting support network and provide valuable insight and information to first hand life with haemophilia.

If you are living with haemophilia yourself and are actively involved in sport we’d love to hear from you. Ambassadors for Little Bleeders share their stories to show other young haemophiliacs what’s possible!

Contact us

Fundraising

Dust down your cycle shorts, air out your trainers, or get ready to make a splash! There are many different exciting ways you can get involved to raise money. We provide resources for any fundraising efforts you may like to hold in the name of Little Bleeders.

Contact us

Donate now

It's because of your kind donations and amazing fundraising efforts that Little Bleeders can be here to support the next generation of haemophiliacs.

We're a charity and we can't do our vital work without your help – please, contact us to make a donation now.

Contact us

Latest blog posts

Meet the team

Alex Dowsett

Founder

Alex founded Little Bleeders in 2016 after realising there was a lack of information and support for young haemophiliacs to be encouraged into safe sport and activity. Alex is a severe haemophiliac and advocates that all haemophiliacs should have the opportunity and chance to “move more, be more”.

Wil Woan

Director

Wil is the Director of Little Bleeders and works with a number of UK based charities, including Heart Valve Voice, the LCCC Foundation and New Housing Charter Trust. His mission is simple: enable Little Bleeders to help as many young haemophiliacs as possible.

Lois Bull

Director

Growing up with a haemophiliac brother means Lois is well experienced in all things haemophilia and the impact it has on family life. With ample PR and marketing experience, Lois coordinates all aspects of the charity from fundraising to social media and everything in between.

Our partner charities

Partner Image

The Haemophilia Society

The Haemophilia Society is the UK’s largest charity for people affected by bleeding disorders. They provide access to information and opportunities and influence national policy to make the care and treatment of bleeding disorders consistent, effective and accessible.

Visit The Haemophilia Society →
Partner Image

Haemnet

Haemnet work with healthcare professionals, patient communities, industry and other key stakeholders. They specialise in research and education within haemophilia and rare bleeding disorders.

Visit Haemnet →
Partner Image

Local Families with Bleeding Disorders

LFWBD is a local peer-led support network that links families experiencing haemophilia together. “Support for families, by families”

Visit Local Families with Bleeding Disorders →

Do you have a Little Bleeder?

Does your child suffer from a blood disorder? We’d love to know your story! We’ve helped children in many different situations. Find out how we can support you or simply give a little advice.

Contact us