Friends remember Hayley as Leicester Donor Centre marks first birthday

Hayley Perks helped open the centre but sadly died from cancer, friends have set up campaign to donate in her memory. There has been a 34% increase in new blood donors since the centre opened a year ago.

25 October 2019

Leicester Donor Centre celebrated its first birthday with the news there has been a 34% increase in new blood donors since it opened its doors.

Eileen Richards MBE and Paul Barrowcliffe, (Hayley’s brother)Special guests included friends of Hayley Perks, the former policewoman from Houghton on the Hill who helped open the centre last October. Hayley benefitted from 67 blood and platelet transfusions during treatment for leukaemia but sadly died earlier this year.

The donor centre was formerly in Vaughan Way but was expanded and moved to Guildhall Lane to take advantage of Leicester’s young, growing, and diverse population of potential donors.

Image: Eileen Richards MBE and Paul Barowcliffe (Hayley’s brother).

Since moving, the donor centre has gone from around 145 new donors a month to 195 new donors a month. 1

Karen Ellis, Leicester Donor Centre Manager, said: “We are delighted to mark one year since our donor centre in Leicester opened its doors. We have seen a remarkable 2,500 people sign up as new blood donors since we opened and hope to see this trend continue.

“We are very thankful to Hayley’s family and friends for their continued support. We were so sad to hear the news about Hayley and we hope she continues to inspire people – Hayley’s photo still hangs in the donor centre.

She added: “It’s easy to register to become a blood donor, and we need new donors every day. Our donor centres are bright and modern and they are the perfect place to make your first donation.” 

Kirit Mistry, Karen Ellis, Audrey Chan (University of Leicester), Scarlett Tinsley (Eileen Richards Recruitment), Eileen Richards MBE, Paul Barrowcliffe (Hayley’s brother)

Image, left to right: Kirit Mistry, Karen Ellis, Audrey Chan (University of Leicester), Scarlett Tinsley (Eileen Richards Recruitment), Eileen Richards MBE; Paul Barrowcliffe (Hayley’s brother).

Local entrepreneur Eileen Richards MBE set up the #BleedForHayley campaign in memory of family friend Hayley earlier this year. The Eileen Richards Recruitment team have set a target of 500 blood donations for the #BleedForHayley campaign over a period of a year.

Eileen Richards MBE said: “As active participants throughout business and the community, we are proud to work closely with the donor centre to increase the amount of blood donations across our region by encouraging business leaders and their teams to take time out and donate blood.

“Our #BleedForHayley campaign has seen almost 100 people donate blood so far, in the aim to keep families together for longer. By the end of this year we expect to double this number.”

Kirit Mistry, Chair of South Asian Health Action Charity and NHSBT Midlands Organ Donation Ambassador said: “I am pleased to be working with the NHS Blood team on their first anniversary of the new blood centre to help engage Leicester's diverse communities – in particular the black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, as these communities are highest in need but with few donations coming from these communities.”

There is a particular need for more black and Asian donors in Leicester. The shortage of black and Asian donors means black and Asian patients are more at risk of transfusion reactions.

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  1. Prior to the Leicester Blood Donor Centre opening in October 2018, from April until September 2018 there were 145 new donor donations per month in Leicester. Since then, 195 new donor donations per month have been recorded in Leicester – an increase of 34%.