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Fill in the blanks to help save a life

Eagle eyed residents who follow Malvern Hills District Council on social media may have noticed something missing from Twitter tweets and Facebook posts on Monday, 15 August.

In support of the NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) ‘Missing Type’ campaign, and as part of a global movement to encourage more people to register as blood donors and donate blood, the letters A, B and O had all been removed from messages.

Melanie Whistance, Health Improvement Co-ordinator for Malvern Hills District Council, said: “People rarely think about their blood type – most of us don’t even know our blood type. But if that ‘blood type’ was to go missing in everyday life, people would start to pay closer attention to the need for blood. So to show our support of NHSBT we removed the letters A, B and O – the blood groups – from our social media messages in order to create engagement and awareness of the importance of giving blood.”

To see how successful the Missing Type campaign was when it was first launched in England and North Wales in 2015, you can watch the case study video for the campaign by going to https://vimeo.com/132701008.

NHSBT rely on the altruism of thousands of blood donors to ensure it continually has stocks of the correct blood type to help treat critically ill patients, whether they have been in an accident, had complications during surgery or birth, or need blood replacement therapy for various cancers and diseases.

They also need people to sign up as new donors to ensure stocks remain sufficient to help those who are in vital need.

Blood types from black and mixed race people are always in short supply, so donors from these communities are particularly important.

Working with blood cancer charity African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust (ACLT), NHSBT is urging more black and mixed race people to sign up to become stem cell, blood and organ donors. Go to https://www.blood.co.uk/news-and-campaigns/campaigns/campaign-archive/im-on-it/ and see the ‘I’m On It’ film they made.

The #ImOnIt campaign film is supported by stars from the UK’s music and entertainment industry, including Alesha Dixon (Britain’s Got Talent), Richard Blackwood (Eastenders), Chizzy Akudolu (Holby City), Ashley Walters (Top Boy) and Jovian Wade (Eastenders).

The film features a poem written by Mark Thompson about his wife Sarah who survived leukaemia, focusing  on the gift of life his wife received by having a stem cell transplant ten years ago.

But anyone from any community can become a blood and organ donor.

Worcestershire County Council is one of just four UK councils to sign up to a potentially life-saving partnership with NHS Blood and Transplant, which collects donated blood in England and North Wales and manages the UK's organ donation system.

Did you know?

  • 182,327 people in Worcestershire are on the NHS Organ Donor Register - (32.43% of WCC's population) – the UK average is 30%.
  • 87 people are waiting for a transplant.
  • 140 transplants were carried out between 2007 and 2012.
  • 17,926 active blood donors live in the Worcestershire County area – can you help us reach 20,000?

NHS Blood and Transplant need more people to join and save lives. To sign-up to the NHS Organ Donor Register go to www.organdonation.nhs.uk or call 0300 123 23 23.

For more information about becoming a blood donor, go to www.blood.co.uk or call 0300 123 23 23 to book an appointment at one of the sessions below.

If you live in the Malvern Hills district, the next blood donation sessions are:

  • Wednesday 24 August at Malvern Rugby Club
  • Friday 14 October at the New Hill Centre, Upton-On-Severn
  • Sunday 6 November at Tenbury Wells Primary School

You can also find blood donation sessions using this link: https://my.blood.co.uk/SessionFinder.

If you want to know more about NHS Blood and Transplant go to www.nhsbt.nhs.uk.

To get more local information on how to become a blood or organ donor, and even a Donation Champion, go to the ‘Your Life, Your Choice Worcestershire’ website – https://ylyc.worcestershire.gov.uk/ and search ‘Become and organ or blood donor’.