It only takes 10 minutes to save three lives.
CommUNITY Barnet is working with NHS Blood and Transplant this autumn to engage with communities in Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey, Islington, Hackney & Waltham Forest and encourage more residents to become blood donors and help save the lives of thousands of patients. The NHS is running critically low on blood donation from donors. Due to pressures from COVID-19 figures show that approximately 16,000 more blood donors are needed this year to meet the demand and help those in need such as those suffering from Sickle Cell disease that require life-saving blood transfusions. Sickle Cell disease causes blood cells to be shaped similar to crescent moons, these abnormal cells can get stuck in blood vessels causing extreme pain known as sickle cell crisis. Sickle cell disorder is inherited from both parents and primarily affects people from African and Caribbean communities. To get the best treatment, patients need blood which is closely matched to their own. This is most likely to come from a donor of the same ethnicity. Yet only 1% of current blood donors are Black – that’s 11,400 people nationally.
Each month hospitals in England request 3-4,000 units of red cells to treat patients with Sickle Cell. To meet this need we must recruit 40,000 more Black donors. Recruiting more Black donors will improve the lives of sickle cell patients and reduce pressures on blood stocks. Veronica Awuzudike, Health and Wellbeing Programme Manager at CommUNITY Barnet tells us; ‘This campaign is about saving lives and we also want to get the message out that giving blood is a simple and easy process for most people and is a fun and fulfilling way of protecting the health of your community’. Veronica will be working with local organisations throughout the seven boroughs, attending existing events and activities and hosting events with local community organisation and NHS Blood and Transplant. They also plan to hold some ‘blood identification’ events over the autumn with younger Black residents. ‘Blood identification events are a great way to demystify and explain the blood donation process’, Veronica explained ‘Donating blood is a really positive and simple thing to do and it could save the life of our friends and family in the future’. Giving blood is a safe and simple process and once you have registered all you have to do is make an appointment or visit a drop-in session.
For further information contact Veronica Awuzudike, Health and Wellbeing Programme Manager
Veronica.Awuzudike@communitybarnet.org.uk, 020 8364 8400
For more about the CommUNITY Barnet work: barnetwellbeing.org.uk
Please find more information on the campaign here: www.blood.co.uk
Become a blood donor. Register today and book an appointment online or call 0300 123 23 23