A NEW support group for families in Bournemouth and Poole affected by haemophilia is hosting its first awareness event this weekend.

There are around 6,000 haemophiliacs in the UK, the majority of which are male, because of the way the condition is inherited.

Haemophilia affects the blood's ability to clot so someone with the condition will bleed for longer.

Jo Fancourt, who lives with her family in Alum Chine, Bournemouth, knew she was a carrier as most of the male members of her family have the condition.

“When my son Alfie was born, I knew there was a good chance that he would have it. My three brothers all have it but it has got milder as it has gone through the generations.

“I was very anxious at first and I used to follow Alfie around all the time when he was little.”

Her son is now 16 and a student at Bournemouth and Poole College.

“Alfie used to get a bit frustrated because he can’t play rugby or any contact sport like boxing because there is a risk of internal bleeding. Whenever he is going out I always make sure he is wearing his bracelet which shows he has haemophilia.

“Last year he fell down the stairs and he had to go to hospital to stop the bleeding. A huge blood clot developed on his hip and he had to have three weeks off school.”

Now Jo and another Dorset mother Sonia Fawcitt whose son is also affected by the condition, have joined forces to set up a support group.

Jo adds: “As a parent, it can make you feel quite anxious, so it is nice to have the support of other families in the same situation.”

The Haemophilia Family Fun Day will be held at Parley Sports Club on April 18 from 11am to 3pm. There will be an Easter egg hunt, a prize auction and raffle, stalls and activities