Why we need more black donors
40,000 more black donors of all blood groups are needed to meet growing demand for better-matched blood and a special subtype of blood more common in black people.
Currently, only 1% of people who give blood in England are black.
Sickle cell disease
Sickle cell disease is a condition particularly common to people of African or Caribbean descent that causes abnormally-shaped red blood cells.
It can be extremely painful and cause life-threatening infections because these misshapen, sickle-shaped cells do not carry oxygen efficiently around the body. It can also lead to stroke or loss of vision.
Blood transfusions help to reduce and prevent these symptoms.
You can be a blood donor if you have sickle cell trait. We just ask that you tell our donor session staff.
You might be the perfect match
To get the best treatment, patients need closely-matched blood, which is most likely to come from someone with the same ethnicity.
Having the right mix of donors and blood types is essential to ensure we meet the needs of all patients who need lifesaving treatment.
The Ro subtype
Some donors may find they are a blood subtype called Ro, which is more common in black donors.
In the last three years we've seen an 80% increase in the amount of Ro blood requested by hospitals.
This blood type is particularly in demand for treating sickle cell disease.
Could you be a donor?
Become a blood donor
We have 23 permanent blood centres and a number of other community venues that offer regular appointments throughout the year.
Having donors who regularly donate year-round is what keeps our blood supply to hospitals stable.
Support blood donation
Regardless of whether you can or can't donate, you can still help us to find the 40,000 new black donors we need to help others like you.
Tell your friends and family and share our messages on social media.