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Laila’s 'Rice for Life' 2017 Campaign

Did you know? During the time it takes for a short cricket interval - just 10 minutes - you could have helped saved three lives!

Though the entire process of donating blood takes around an hour, the actual giving blood part only takes about 5-10 minutes. So, next time you’re at a game and the interval begins, spare a thought for those three lives you could save.

Everyone has the potential to be a blood donor and we’ve teamed up with Laila Rice, together with the Shahid Afridi Foundation, to spread the word and highlight the urgent need for more donors of Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) heritage.

The Shahid Afridi Foundation

Shahid AfridiFounded by Pakistan cricketing legend Shahid Afridi, the Shahid Afridi Foundation is passionate about providing clean water, healthcare and enhanced educational opportunities for underprivileged people, especially children, around the globe.

We are delighted to announce the Shahid Afridi Foundation has teamed up with Laila Rice and NHS Blood and Transplant to help raise awareness of an important issue facing the UK's Asian communities.

The simple act of donating blood is possibly one of the most amazing gifts one human can give to another - and it has the power to save not just one, but up to three lives.

In the time it takes for a typical cricket interval - just 10 minutes - the giving blood part of most donations is all done.

There is an urgent need for more donors from all Asian communities in the UK, including Pakistani donors.

The perfect match

Shahid Afridi shaking hands

We all know there are different blood types and some are more common than others but, in addition, blood from certain ethnic backgrounds will more readily match the blood of a patient of a similar ethnic heritage. Better matches are vitally important when dealing with patients who need regular blood transfusions, like patients with thalassaemia - a condition that mainly affects Asian and Arab communities.

In a direct appeal to the UK’s BAME communities Shahid said: “Please register to donate blood today and tell your friends and family to get involved. I love cricket, but this is possibly the most important 'match' you will ever make.”

Why Laila and what is ‘Rice for Life’?

Like with many of the dishes its rice accompanies, Laila is the perfect match for this campaign and is one of the UK's top 3 rice brands.

NHS Blood donation partnership graphic with Laila RiceLaila regularly runs 'Rice for Life' campaigns - each theme always aimed at saving lives. Previous campaigns have included raising money for the British Red Cross' flood relief efforts in Pakistan; providing seeds and fertiliser to help families re-establish independence and covering the cost of vital medical supplies to prevent easily treatable diseases from needlessly claiming lives.

Meanwhile, Rice for Life 2014 marked a truly ambitious project and saw Laila donate one million servings of rice to the poor and hungry via UK food banks and NGOs in India.

Rice for Life 2017 has the same potential - a single blood donation has the power to save or improve up to three lives. We truly hope this partnership will translate into a significant uplift in the numbers donating from black, Asian and Arab communities.

Harry Dulai, Laila Foods MD, said: "As a top 3 UK rice brand, popular with the UK's BAME communities, Laila is perfectly placed to deliver this critical and life-saving message to people of all backgrounds and we are proud to work alongside the Shahid Afridi Foundation and NHS Blood and Transplant to try and help boost the donor database."

Why the campaign?

  • Black, Asian and Arab donors are particularly needed for patients who need long term transfusion programmes (lots of blood on a regular basis over a long period of time).
  • Diseases such as sickle cell disease (mainly affecting people of black heritage) and thalassaemia (mainly affecting people of Asian, Arab or Mediterranean heritage) are two such conditions.
  • These patients need blood as closely matched as possible; the best way to get this match is blood from a donor of a similar ethnic background.

Why now?

  • Launched in December 2017, the Rice for Life campaign continues in 2018 to highlight the continued need for more donors to come forward. Only 5% of England's blood donations come from people of BAME heritage - however BAME communities account for more than 14% of the UK population.

What's happening?

In a bid to drive awareness of the critical shortage of black, Asian and Arab donors, promotional packs will be rolled out in stores, supported by Laila teams who pitched up at Morrisons stores across England, working alongside our NHSBT experts to raise awareness and give people the chance to try some tasty food and find out how they can become lifesavers.

Find out more about your blood group.