First ever social media video to encourage more blood donors to ‘give the greatest gift’ this year

22 November 2023

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) has launched its first ever festive social media video to encourage people to give the gift of blood this winter.

The video depicts a festive blood donation session where donors are giving blood and enjoying a post-donation snack, soundtracked by a poem encouraging people to ‘give a gift that matters and show them that you care, because giving blood is the greatest gift that you can give this year.’

Filming taking place at Bradford Donor CentreAt this time of year with colder weather and the rise in seasonal illnesses, donating can fall off the to-do list and lead to an increase in appointment cancellations. Donors are asked to please help the NHS by booking and sticking to their upcoming appointments to help build stocks ahead of the challenging winter period.

Laura Wood, Bradford Donor Centre Manager, said: “We were delighted to be chosen as the location for NHS Blood and Transplant’s first ever festive social media-led initiative for blood donation, produced entirely in-house and brought to life by both donor centre staff and volunteers from the wider organisation who came to Bradford to create the video in their own time and for free.

“Donating blood is a way of giving a special life-saving gift that only costs an hour of your time. We’re encouraging the people of Bradford to consider giving the greatest Secret Santa gift of all this year, as each blood donation can help to save or improve up to three lives!

“There is a particular need for more O negative blood donors at the moment, but donors of all types are encouraged to book. If you can’t get an appointment straight away, please do book in the coming weeks and months as you will still be saving lives.

“We understand that sometimes donors need to cancel due to illness or changes of plans, so we ask for at least three days’ notice if you need to cancel so the place can be offered to another donor. Donor and staff safety is our priority so if you are under the weather, please rest, recover, and rebook.”

O negative is the universal blood type – it can be given to anyone in an emergency when a hospital doesn’t know their blood type, or they don’t have the right type available.

O negative and B negative blood boxes with festive trim

Only eight per cent of the population have O negative blood but it accounts for around 14 per cent of the blood hospitals need so more O negative donors are needed than other types.