Hello and welcome to the summer 2018 edition
With this edition we reflect on the challenges that this year has brought - including the ‘Beast from the East’. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all sincerely for your support, for keeping your appointments when it was particularly difficult and for going the extra mile (sometimes literally!) to give blood and keep the hospitals supplied with those vital donations.
In our summer campaign we are asking people to think about who they would ‘bleed for…’. What was it that prompted you to become a blood donor? Could you help us in our quest for the 700 donors that we need every day by asking family and friends to consider donating? Sometimes a brief conversation is all it takes for you to recruit another donor.
As a fairly new donor, please take a look at our handy online guide to managing your appointments and keeping track of your donations via our website and app. You can read about the changes that may affect your donations as we continue to further improve your comfort and safety when giving blood.
In this edition we also celebrate the fantastic advancements in tailor-made red blood cells which our scientists are creating in the lab. This is a huge step towards treating patients that cannot currently be closely matched with donor blood.
We also congratulate Dr Meli who has worked with the Ministry of Defence to investigate the quality of red blood cells after aerial delivery to ships at sea, leading to a potential new service for patients.
This edition looks specifically at O-negative blood, also known as the ‘universal’ blood type. We show how these vital red cells helped Andrew Robinson when he was treated at the scene of a horrific motorcycle accident, and ask you to encourage family members to become donors if you are O-negative yourself.
We celebrate the success of the B Positive choir after they reached the final of Britain’s Got Talent. They sing to raise awareness of blood related conditions and their performance of ‘Rise Up’ bowled over the judges and audience.
Read about the incredibly selfless act of Diana Reynolds who decided to become a living donor when she donated her kidney to a complete stranger last year.
Thank you, as always, for your continued support. It really does mean so much to so many patients whose lives are saved or improved because of your donations.
Ian Trenholm, Chief Executive
Write and tell us your news, views and interesting or unusual donor stories by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org