Over the three days of the August bank holiday weekend, seven of the London UCKG HelpCentres came together to support the NHS’s Shepherds Bush Blood Donor Centre. Their aim was to encourage and make it easy for members of London’s diverse BME communities to give blood, while also explaining why it is good to do so.
The participating HelpCentres were Brixton, Southall, Hammersmith, Kilburn, Plaistow, Finsbury Park, and Willesden Green. A total of 44 people from their congregations attended to give blood, included individuals in the rarer A positive and B positive blood groups, while others volunteered their time in order to help generally.
Each donor was greeted by a member of the NHS Blood and Transplant team and checked for their suitability for giving blood. On confirmation that all was well, the NHS professionals then took 470ml of blood from each donor, who then received a drink and snack from the UCKG’s helpers.
“These blood donations were invaluable as ideally patients need blood that closely matches their own, and that will likely come from a donor of the same ethnicity,” said David Nzuruba, the UCKG’s community outreach manager. “Lives can be lost for lack of suitable supplies; yet sometimes people do not know how to become a blood donor, while every donation benefits at least three patients,” he added.
“Blood donations help patients of any and every background, including people with severe burns, cancer, and those undergoing surgery including organ transplants, so we are doing this for the entire community.”
The donors included 17- year-old Marie Bolumbu, a first time blood donor who said: “I decided at 15 that I would donate blood when I was older. This is important to me as I understand how my blood can save another life.”
Daniel Pacquette (52) commented: “It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time because there is a shortage of black donors. Also, I have a cousin who is living with sickle cell disease. She needs she a blood transfusion every two weeks. My experience was good. I would do it again and encourage others to do so too.”
For further information please contact the UCKG HelpCentre Press Officer via email on email@example.com or direct line 020 7686 6033.