Celebrities become Team Give Blood captains to boost blood stocks for Summer 2012
Gary Lineker, Sarah Beeny, Jayne Torvill, Graham Bell, Greg James, Rachel Riley, Twin B and Saira Khan are encouraging the nation to boost blood stocks by 30% in time for a busy summer of sport.
The Team Give Blood 'captains', will encourage people of a specific blood type to donate ahead of the major national events coming up, including the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and London Olympics as well as major international sporting events such as the football European Championships. The celebrities will help to raise awareness of the need for extra blood using their own social media profiles as well as appearing in campaign materials and mailers.
This year we need donors more than ever before because we have extra visitors to the UK and need to be prepared in advance. In addition, these international visitors will have a different native blood mix to our own, hence our heightened need for specific blood groups as reflected in each captain's target.
Past experience shows that major public events can disrupt regular donations. However, we hope that as part of the UK-wide keenness to be a first-class host nation for London 2012, we can draw on the Olympic spirit and together make a huge team effort to contribute to the goals to increase blood stocks in preparation for the summer's festivities.
The celebrities will be championing the following blood groups, encouraging the public to be a part of 'Team Give Blood':
Gary Lineker - ex footballer and presenter - captain of Team O-, the universal blood type, which can be given to people of any blood type and is therefore often used in emergency situations. Just 7% of the population have O- blood.
As a sportsman, I can't wait to cheer on England and Team GB this summer, but I'll also be doing my bit by supporting Team Give Blood and helping to build blood stock by 30% before the Olympics. My son wouldn't be here today if it weren't for a blood transfusion, so I understand firsthand what a difference your donation can make. I'm particularly championing donors who are O-, the universal blood type. It can be used in emergency situations when the patient's own blood type is unknown, but with just 7% of the population having O- blood, we always need more donors. If you don't know your blood type, find out by making a date to donate — visit www.blood.co.uk to find your nearest session.'
Rachel Riley - TV presenter - captain of Team A+. 35% of the population in England and North Wales are A+, making it one of the most common blood types and also one of the most used.
'Blood donations save lives, and we can all sometimes walk through life forgetting that hundreds of people rely on blood supplies every day. I'm supporting Team Give blood, because it's a fantastic health campaign that genuinely shows we can all help others with a small act of kindness that goes a long way.'
Greg James - radio presenter - as captain of Team O+, Greg will be appealing to 37% of the population with this blood type. This is the most common blood type in the UK. -
'When I was born, I was really poorly. I had to be incubated like a little bird for a week or so and if it wasn't for three full blood transfusions, I wouldn't be here today and that would be awful. I am forever grateful to the people that saved my life and I hope to do the same for someone else - it's the least I can do to get involved with Team Give Blood and I think we should all do our bit and get involved! There is lots of exciting stuff happening this summer and we might all get distracted but it is really important that we help increase blood stocks by 30% between now and the start of the Olympics'
Twin B - DJ and radio presenter - the radio DJ is captain of Team B- not only because it's his favourite letter, but because just 2% of the population have this blood type. As with A-, it is more common in the Asian and African-Caribbean population.
'I'm an East End boy and football fan so I'll be supporting England and Team GB at the Euros and Olympics this summer, but I'll also be cheering on all the blood donors who make up Team Give Blood. Blood stocks fall during big events so we need to build stocks by 30% before the Olympics to cope. We need donors from every blood type, but I'm particularly championing all those B- donors out there — you make up just 2% of the population, so we really need your help. Visit www.blood.co.uk to find out more.'
Graham Bell - former Olympian and TV presenter - captain of Team AB+. Just 3% of the population have this blood type, though globally this figure is 5%.
'I've cycled up mountains, sky-dived out of planes... even flown with the Red Arrows, but nothing makes me feel more proud than giving blood because it genuinely saves lives, and this year we need to build stocks by 30% for the start of the Olympics. Whether you've donated before and are already a part of Team Give Blood, or you're a first-timer, go to www.blood.co.uk and make a date to donate'
Saira Khan - presenter and entrepreneur - captain of Team A-. One of the rarer blood types, just 7% of people has A- blood and it is more common in the Asian and African-Caribbean population.
'Over a million people are expected to visit Britain for the Olympics this summer so I am supporting the Team Give Blood campaign to help increase supplies by 30% to help cater for the increased demand. Our visitors will have a very different mix of blood groups from the UK population at large so we are calling for donors with blood group A- to contact us and make a date to donate.'
Sarah Beeny - presenter and entrepreneur - captain of Team B+, Sarah will be appealing to people with this blood type who are eligible to come forward and make a date to donate. Although just 8% of the population are B+, globally this figure is 20%, meaning higher levels will be needed in preparation for the increased visitors expected this summer.
'One of the most common uses of blood is for operations during childbirth, and as a mother of four this really resonates with me, so I'm proud to be supporting Team Give Blood. We need to build total stocks by 30% for the Olympics to cope with the expected decline in stock levels during the Games, but I'm particularly championing B+ donors. They make up just 8% of the population so we always need more B+ donors.'
Jayne Torvill - Olympic gold medallist - captain of Team AB-, which is the rarest blood type in the UK, with just 1% of the population having this blood type.
'Due to the fact that large public events are going to disrupt and distract donors this summer, I'm delighted to be supporting Team Give Blood. I started giving blood again when a family member was very ill and needed blood. I think a lot of people don't donate until they know someone who needs it, and this can motivate them to become a regular donor. As the captain of team AB- I'm encouraging more people from this blood type to come forward as only 1% of the population have this blood type.'
Every year the lives of thousands of people are saved or transformed through organ transplantation. Join the register.
Platelet donations are often life-saving. Have you given blood before? You may be able to donate platelets. More about Platelet Donation.
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