Dalgety Teas to support the NHS to reach 100,000 potential new blood donors of Black heritage

22 June 2023

People of Black heritage are being encouraged to save lives by becoming a blood donor as part of a new partnership launching today [June 22] between NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) and Dalgety Teas.

Blood donor of Black heritage donatingDalgety Teas, the most respected British Caribbean tea brand in Europe, will feature a ‘Give Blood’ message and QR code on the outer packaging of all their teas.

Dalgety Teas, which has the motto "Thrive with Vibrancy", aims to engage consumers to be just as passionate as they are in promoting healthy living. The brand's commitment to natural ingredients, unique blends, and community development sets it apart and makes it a popular choice for health-conscious consumers.

The campaign aims to reach 100,000 people in the very heart of the home, the kitchen. It is hoped the messages on the teas will spark life-saving conversations about the urgent need for more blood donors of Black heritage, whilst also enjoying a healthy cup of tea.

Geraldine Parker-Smith, National Partnership Manager at NHSBT, said: “This partnership with Dalgety Teas gives the NHS a fantastic opportunity to reach out directly to people who may not have had a reason to think or speak about blood donation before.”

Why we need more donors of Black heritage

There is an increased demand for some blood subtypes, such as Ro, that are more common in people of Black heritage. Demand for these subtypes is growing as more people need regular transfusions to treat blood disorders such as sickle cell, which is more prevalent in people of Black heritage.

Blood subtypes are critically important for patients who need regular transfusions as they need blood that is as closely matched as possible. Often this will come from someone of the same ethnic background.

Chanel Taylor, 39, has lived with sickle cell since birth. From 2019 she has received frequent complete blood transfusions known as red cell exchanges.

Chanel TaylorShe said: “Instantly, I felt the difference this has made in my life. For me to live the best quality of life, and be at my best, I require seven units of ethnically matched blood every five weeks.

“Unfortunately, patients like me are at a deficit. The shortage of donors from the Black community makes it almost impossible to meet the demands of all patients who need regular treatment. Which is why it is also important to highlight the donors who step forward and consistently donate to those who need lifesaving treatment.”

Ziko Thompson is a donor who has the blood type that sickle cell patients need.

He said: “Giving blood has always been something I wanted to try with all the appeals I’ve seen. However, it wasn’t until my first donation that I realised just how significant and essential my blood type is as a Ro donor. With just two percent of donors overall having this subtype it only motivated me to keep donating as much as I can and try to get other Black donors involved!

“Currently, there is an urgent need for blood donors from Black backgrounds as they are 10 times more likely to carry the Ro blood type which is needed to treat patients with sickle cell. And for patients who rely on regular blood transfusions, the best match and outcome will often come from a donor of the same ethnicity”.

Mark Dalgety, Founder of Dalgety Teas said: “We are super excited to be collaborating on this wonderful initiative and honoured to be working with NHS Blood and Transplant, being part of the highly esteemed British institution the NHS.

As a company we are committed to promoting awareness of various health conditions and working with partners like the NHS, where we hope to make a real difference. Encouraging families and individuals to not only live healthier lives, but also help save and improve lives.

“Dalgety Teas are proud that the teas that they manufacture can help bring individuals and families together and we hope that through the Dalgety Teas campaign, we can encourage more people to register and book an appointment to give blood to help save and improve lives.”

What greater gift can there be of knowing that you can be responsible for saving somebody or several people’s lives? Or giving a child extra time with a parent, or a parent extra time with their child? Please don’t wait, find out more about blood donation.

Become a blood donor. Register online now and book your first appointment.