Give Blood, Spread Love, England

Give Blood, Spread Love, England

Give Blood, Spread Love, England is the Sickle Cell Society’s blood donor awareness project. The project’s goals are to engage individuals and communities from African and Caribbean backgrounds to become aware of the need for ethnically matched blood to treat people with sickle cell disorder.

Funded by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), Give Blood, Spread Love, England commits to breaking down some of the myths and fears that exist around blood donation, educate people around what happens when you give blood and sign people up to the blood donation register.

After a successful two years raising awareness of blood donation and recruiting black-heritage blood donors under our ‘South London Gives’ project, Sickle Cell Society is pleased to have the opportunity to continue this work nationally via ‘Give Blood, Spread Love, England.’

Sign up to the blood donation register here: bit.ly/scsgiveblood

About Us

Give Blood, Spread Love, England has a team of trained Community Advocate volunteers who use their networks of family, friends, neighbours, work colleagues, churches and leisure interests to highlight the importance of blood donation and encourage others to share the message too, gradually sparking more and more people to get involved and advocate for change.

Blood donation and ensuring that there is a sufficient amount of ethnically matched blood available, is essential for the treatment of people with severe sickle cell disease. Receiving regular blood donations can help prevent sickle cell crisis and are used to treat anaemia and other severe symptoms associated with sickle cell disorder. Closely matched blood is needed as it is less likely to be rejected by people having frequent blood transfusions.

Invite us to give a virtual presentation at your workplace, church or group. Contact: tracy.williams@sicklecellsociety.org

In our first year, South London Gives recruited a team of dedicated volunteers. We travelled far and wide giving presentations in churches, work places, colleges and community organisations, we registered hundreds of new donors and talked to thousands of people. While some were not aware of the need for ethnically matched blood, most knew that many more black-heritage donors are needed, however, some had concerns about what was involved, how long it would take and the safety of the process.

Our trained Community Advocates are able to address these common concerns and wherever possible, put peoples’ minds at rest, by:

  • Sharing the facts of blood donation to replace the myths
  • Explaining the positive impact blood donation has on peoples’ quality of life.
  • Sharing personal experiences of receiving life-saving blood
    transfusions, being a first-time blood donor, and having a family
    member with sickle cell.

In our second year, South London Gives continued to contribute to the numbers of people from black and mixed-race communities signing up to the blood donation register. NHSBT estimate that 40,000 new donors from these groups are required to meet the needs of sickle cell patients across the UK.

Become a community advocate bit.ly/SLGcommunityadvocate

Future Work

Recognising the urgent need for blood donors from black and mixed-race communities in London and Birmingham, Give Blood, Spread Love, England will continue to use new media to build awareness, share facts, breakdown myths and direct people to not only sign up to the blood donation register online, but to go a step further by asking peers to do the same.

Through building a community of social media users, the “Give Blood Squad”, to represent and share our message, the campaign aims to address young and socially engaged audiences, as well as build partnerships with likeminded community groups, university societies, Haemoglobinopathy Coordinating Centers (HCCs), hospitals and businesses of interest.

Join the Give Blood Squad. Contact: olivia.anastasiou@sicklecellsociety.org

Give Blood, Spread Love, England will take on different forms, but with the primary focus being to encourage and inspire black and mixed-race communities to donate. We aim to eradicate negative perceptions around giving blood and ultimately make giving blood a ‘movement’ in our target communities, a movement which challenges cultural and societal norms.

Give Blood, Spread Love, England will have a team of volunteers dedicated to raising awareness nationally. Our volunteers will invest more involvment than our “squad”, by commiting to more hours of support. Our volunteers will share online messaging, as well as develop relationships with both organisations and individuals, to join and contribute to our cause.

Give Blood, Spread Love, England will work to turn up the volume on topics around blood donation and in turn, increase the number of black and mixed-race blood donors nationally.

Interested in becoming a Volunteer? Contact: olivia.anastasiou@sicklecellsociety.org

Turn up the Volume on Blood Donation

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