Give Blood, Spread Love, England is the Sickle Cell Society’s blood donation project. We work with black-heritage communities to: raise awareness of the need for ethnically matched blood to treat people with sickle cell; increase levels of confidence in giving blood and recruit new donors to the blood donation register.
Treating people with sickle cell
Donated blood forms a key part of the current treatments for sickle cell disorder. Regular blood transfusions are used to treat anaemia and can help prevent other symptoms associated with sickle cell, including strokes and Acute Chest Syndrome (when blood flow to the lungs becomes blocked.) For many, receiving donated blood regularly saves their life. Ethnically match blood is required as it is less likely to be rejected by people having frequent blood transfusions, and some blood types, such as the Ro subtype, are more commonly found in people of African and Caribbean heritage than people with white heritage.
Find out more about sickle cell and the power of blood donation by watching Bola’s Story
More Black-heritage blood donors need to come forward
We understand that some people from Black-heritage backgrounds may be particularly reluctant to give blood, for cultural or personal reasons, or may simply need more information about why it is needed and how and where they can donate. Our staff and volunteer team can:
NHSBT estimate that 40,000 new Black-heritage donors are required this year to meet the needs of sickle cell patients across England.
Blood Donation and Covid 19
Ethnically matched blood has been in need during the height of the pandemic, and continues to be so. It is still vitally important that people continue to sign up to be donors and start donating blood. It’s useful to know that:
We engage with our target communities through:
Support us to Turn up the Volume on Blood Donation
We are grateful to our funders
NHS Blood and Transplant, Terumo BCT and Peter Sowerby Foundation