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B Positive ‘Rise Up’ and sing again…

…this time at the Commonwealth Service

The B Positive choir had the honour of performing at the annual Commonwealth Service in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen and the Royal Family on 11th March.

The service was held at Westminster Abbey on Commonwealth Day, which is always the second Monday in March. Heads of government and representatives from the 53 countries and 2.4 billion citizens of the Commonwealth attended.

This year’s theme was ‘A Connected Commonwealth’, encouraging institutions, governments and people to connect and co-operate through networks of friendship and goodwill.

B Positive was founded by NHS Blood and Transplant to raise awareness of blood donation and sickle cell disease. Its members all have family connections across the Commonwealth. They sang ‘Rise Up’, which they first performed last year on Britain’s Got Talent, gaining them a place in the final.

BBC presenter, Sonali Shah, spoke to choir member Mary Adeturinmo, who has received many blood transfusions as part of her treatment for sickle cell disease. Mary says, “In my life [blood donation is] very important because I have blood exchanges every four weeks. I have about ten units going in and out of me. It definitely has improved the quality of my life.”

Explaining their song choice, choirmaster Colin Anderson says, “We’ll be singing our clarion call, ‘Rise Up’. Not only is it to encourage people to save and improve lives - become blood donors - it’s also actually for those who need [blood], that in spite of the aches and pains, they get up anyway.

“So that’s the message; give blood, become a regular blood donor – young people, Black African, Black Caribbean, right across the spectrum - please save a life, improve a life by just giving blood.”

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