Blood donors in Newham urged to step up to mark
People whose lives have been saved by blood joined dedicated blood donors in Stratford to celebrate National Blood Week.
The themed week took place in June and featured events to raise awareness of the need for people to give blood and help thank existing blood donors for their life-saving gifts.
Staff from NHS Blood and Transplant marked National Blood Week with a recruitment drive at the Westfield Shopping Centre, Stratford recently where over a hundred shoppers registered to become new blood donors.
Derek Carr, NHSBT’s lead donor relations manager for the Stratford area, said: “This year’s National Blood Week sees us facing a major challenge as we need to build blood stocks by an additional 30 per cent ahead of the Olympic Games, despite the disruption caused by other major public events.”
Blood donors from the Stratford area also attended the event to encourage people to roll up their sleeves and join Team Give Blood.
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Anil Basra, an IT consultant, has given 44 donations. He said: “I started donating blood when I was at university and have continued ever since.”
Shahnaz Shaikh who donates at The Old Town Hall, Stratford, began giving blood to help others. She didn’t realise that it would be her father that needed blood after becoming ill.
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In Newham there are 2,123 donors and, on average, blood donor sessions in the three areas visited by NHSBT (Stratford, Beckton and Upton Park) collect 88 units of blood each.
However, this summer is likely to prove challenging for blood collection as past experience shows that even regular donors miss appointments during national events and celebrations as routines are disrupted.
This, combined with the high numbers of international visitors with a different native blood mix to our own, may also put high demand on specific blood groups during the Olympics.
Anyone wishing to find out more or book an appointment can either call NHS Blood & Transplant’s donor line on 0300 123 23 23 or visit www.blood.co.uk.