This summer, we celebrated National Blood Week (19th – 25th June) by showing that by being a blood donor, you are able to save lives while going about yours.
We showed how you can be here and be there. So, once the donation is made, you can carry on with your day-to-day life while simultaneously providing life-saving treatment in all kinds of situations – whether that be to a person in an oncology ward battling cancer, or another lying on an operating table having emergency surgery. By simply giving blood, you are there.
In the next year, we need 200,000 new blood donors. And to ensure a good mix of blood types to reflect those in the general population, 40,000 black donors are urgently needed. During National Blood Week, over 10,500 new donors came forward to register. Almost 1,000 of those were black donors.
Mike Stredder, director of blood donation, said, “We were so pleased by the public response to National Blood Week, and our campaign to recruit more donors – especially black donors.
“The reason that we’re appealing for more black donors specifically is because of the growth of sickle cell disease: the fastest growing genetic blood disorder in the UK.
“To treat the disease effectively, we need to closely match the blood of the patient with the donor. Sickle cell is more prevalent in people with an African or Caribbean family background, so we need to ensure that the blood we collect for these patients is also taken from people with similar heritage.
“The campaign has gone some way in bridging this gap between supply and demand, but the need to recruit more donors – particularly more black donors – is still there.”
As committed blood donors, please do encourage friends and family to sign up as blood donors. You can also help to support us by using the hashtag #GiveBlood and sharing your reasons for donating.
If you’re eligible to donate, please make an appointment online or call 0300 123 23 23. As always, thank you for your continued support. Thank you for being there.