Black African, Black Caribbean and South Asian communities urged to give blood to save lives
The National Blood Service's VIP Appeal has announced details of its New Year blood donation campaign, launching this month and running until the end of March.
Alongside a whole host of other familiar faces, including top BBC Asian music presenter and DJ Bobby Friction, former Misteeq lead singer Sabrina Washington has paired up with nine-year-old Bintou Keita, a former leukaemia sufferer and someone who knows all too well just how important blood donation is to saving lives.
Sabrina Washington decided to support the VIP Appeal and donate blood for the first time. Together Sabrina and Bintou will bring the blood donation journey to life and film an intimate one-to-one interview. Images, video footage and quotes will be used across a wide range of platforms including university activity, localised communications and online advertising.
Sabrina, who is due to launch a new single this year, says: “I decided it was important to give blood to my community as only 1% of the black community actually donates blood and until now I didn’t understand how my blood type is specific to my ethnic origin. I feel good knowing that I’m helping people like Bintou and encourage others to do the same. It was really quick and easy.”
The appeal has been launched to encourage new donors to step forward and donate blood as well as urge registered individuals to continue to give blood. Specific blood groups are more common amongst people from the African, Caribbean and South Asian communities and certain medical conditions requiring regular blood transfusions also have higher prevalence within these communities including Sickle cell Anaemia (African/Caribbean) and Thalassaemia Major (South Asian).
Patients need blood for vital treatments every day, so it is exceptionally important for new donors, who feel well and meet blood donor selection rules, to come forward now. Blood donation saves lives.
Bintou Keita was just five when she was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. After two years of intensive treatment involving chemotherapy, steroids and two vital blood transfusions, which greatly reduced her recovery time, Bintou is now living a normal life and is back at school.
Bintou says of the VIP Appeal campaign: “I would like people to give blood as it could help other people like me to discover a new life. Blood donors save lives and make people feel happy and have a wonderful life. Just like Sabrina please do what it takes to change somebody's life!”
The VIP Appeal is a campaign by the National Blood Service (NBS) targeting South Asian, Black African and Black Caribbean communities to give blood and help meet the need for rare blood types within ethnic minority communities.
Since its launch in February 2009 the VIP Appeal has attended over 30 events across England, teamed up with designer Wale Adeyemi for an exclusive limited edition T-shirt campaign and registered over 6000 blood donors but there is still a long way to go.
For more information on the VIP Appeal visit www.blood.co.uk/vip or call 0300 123 23 23 quoting reference A05.