Eight celebrities, each representing one of the major blood groups, are supporting NHS Blood and Transplant’s campaign to increase blood stocks this summer.
Gary Lineker, Sarah Beeny, Jayne Torvill, Graham Bell, Greg James, Rachel Riley, Twin B and Saira Khan will help to boost blood stocks by 30%, above usual levels, ahead of the Olympic Games and encourage donors to support their country by contributing to blood supplies.
The Team Give Blood ‘captains’, will encourage people of a specific blood type to donate before major national events, including the Jubilee and Olympics as well as the football European Championships. The celebrities will be using their own social media profiles to encourage the public to be a part of ‘Team Give Blood’ by donating, as well as appearing in promotional materials and mailers.
Jon Latham, spokesperson for NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), said: “This year we need donors more than ever before because major public events can disrupt regular donations and we have extra visitors to the UK to prepare ahead for. We know our regular donors feel a strong sense of team spirit and positivity about their contribution to the health of the nation, so this campaign will help capture the national spirit of 2012 and ensure we are well prepared for the summer’s festivities.”
Past experience shows that even regular donors miss appointments during national events and celebrations as people become distracted and routines are disrupted. This, combined with the high numbers of international visitors expected this year with a different native blood mix to our own, may also put high demand on specific blood groups.
Blood is used to help treat health conditions including cancer and long term illnesses, trauma incidents and maternity care. Hospitals across England and North Wales need 7,000 units of blood every day and each unit saves or improves the lives of three patients.
If you are eligible to donate or are thinking of donating for the first time please go to blood.co.uk or ring us on 0300 123 23 23 and make an appointment now.