Colin Anderson has worked for NHS Blood and Transplant all his working life. His career spans over 30 years, throughout which he has predominately worked as a Biomedical scientist in Red Cell Immunohaemotology (RCI) labs in Colindale, London.
The RCI labs are responsible for crossmatching and providing rare blood to hospitals where patients with a large number of antibodies have been identified. Patients with blood conditions such as sickle cell anaemia may require ongoing blood transfusions as part of their treatment. These patients can build up antibodies over time, meaning that as transfusions are repeated it can become difficult to find suitably matched blood.
Working in these labs has given Colin a real insight into the need for better matched blood for patients with conditions like sickle cell anaemia. Colin said:
“I have always had an interest in science, but working for NHS Blood and Transplant has grown this love. I have been giving blood for many years and have even been on the rare blood panel which meant I would be asked to give blood for specific patients who had a close match to my blood. I try to raise awareness within Black African and Caribbean communities as not enough people are aware of -or possibly misunderstand - the dire need for more people to donate blood.”
As well as a love of science, Colin also has a love for music and grew up the youngest of six children, singing and playing piano with his mother and older siblings. Having always been involved with his church choir, Colin has also been choirmaster with a number of community choirs over the past 20 years, including the winners of the inaugural BBC Gospel Choir of the Year competition.
However, Colin’s latest project is a new direction for him. Colin adds: “Being a part of the B Positive choir has seen all my worlds collide.
"The choir brings together my greatest passions, a love of music, my hunger to raise awareness of blood donation and my talents as a coach for developing teams.”
“The make- up of the choir is so unique, not only are we geographically dispersed but the choir has a broad range of abilities. Some choir members have extensive singing experience but others have never sung at all.
"We have all come together for the same goal though – to get more people to give blood. Britain’s Got Talent is an amazing opportunity for us to share our message. We hope to get everyone from the terraces to the palace to say, 'I want to give blood.'"