Hollyoaks stars and designer Wayne Hemingway MBE are supporting NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) in their appeal to recruit vital new blood donors.
NHSBT wants to recruit 100,000 new donors in the next 100 days to protect future blood stocks. Every year 225,000 new donors are needed to replace existing donors who drop out of the system. This year, the need is more urgent following a dramatic decline in the number of younger donors signing up.
Hollyoaks stars including Jorgie Porter have pledged their support for the appeal by modelling limited edition ‘Blood Sister’ and ‘Blood Brother’ t-shirts created by Red or Dead founder Wayne Hemingway. A limited number of these exclusive t-shirts will be up for grabs via the NHS Blood and Transplant Twitter page @GiveBloodNHS from Monday 12th November.
Young people are vital to the blood service, with 17-24 year olds accounting for around 40% of new donors each year. But the number of young donors registering has been falling steadily; by 20% over the last 10 years and this year has seen a particularly sharp decline, with a 50% drop in the number of 17-18 year olds registering compared to 2011.
Actress Jorgie Porter said: “I really wanted to support this appeal because giving blood is such an amazing thing to do. Blood isn’t just needed when people have accidents – it’s also used to help treat health conditions including cancer and long term illnesses and in maternity care. If someone you loved needed blood you’d want it to be there, so if you can donate then please do.”
NHSBT spokesperson, Jon Latham, said: “The number of young people donating has been falling for the last decade but this year there’s been a sharp drop and we now need 100,000 donors to sign up in the next 100 days to start addressing the shortfall. We welcome new donors of any age, but a failure to boost the number of young donors now will put a strain on the blood service in the years to come.”
Blood donations are a vital resource to help treat health conditions including cancer and long term illnesses, people involved in accidents and in maternity care. Hospitals across England need 7,000 units of blood every day and each unit saves or improves the lives of up to three people. Over a lifetime, some blood donors help more than 500 people through their donations.
To find out if you are eligible to become a blood donor and make a date to donate, visit www.blood.co.uk or call us on 0300 123 23 23. You can also follow us on Twitter or Facebook
Appointments can also be found using the newly launched application for Android and Apple Smartphone and tablet devices which enables donors to search for their nearest blood donation sessions. The app is called NHSGiveBlood and can be found at the Apple app store and the Google Play Store.