Mural opens in Stockwell for National Blood Week to encourage black heritage donors

A mural has been unveiled today to kick off National Blood Week and encourage people of Black heritage to donate blood.

To launch the campaign, a 20ft-high mural created by renowned British street artist Dreph was unveiled today at the Stockwell Hall of Fame, a legal graffiti zone in Aytoun Road.

NHS Blood and Transplant statistics show that more people than ever before of Black African and Black Caribbean heritage in London are saving lives by giving blood.

The number of regular donors of black heritage in London reached an all-time high of almost 8,550 in the year to April 2023, while a further 3,575 gave blood for the first time – also a record.

Both figures have more than doubled since 2017, when the NHS began appealing for black heritage donors.

Nationally people of black heritage are also giving blood in record numbers, however, the shortage remains critical.

This year the NHS needs 12,000 new black heritage donors to meet the growing demand for ethnically matched blood for sickle cell patients who need regular transfusions to stay alive.

Sickle cell is more prevalent in people of black heritage and blood from a donor of the same ethnicity provides the best treatment.

Dr Jo Farrar, chief executive of NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “It is fantastic that more people of black heritage than ever before are saving lives by giving blood, but we urgently need more regular black heritage donors so that sickle cell patients can receive the best treatment.

“This National Blood Week, please join our amazing team of ‘Giving Types’. Giving blood is safe and easy and in just one hour you can save up to three lives. Our permanent donor centres in towns and cities are great places for your first donation.”

This year the NHS needs 140,000 new blood donors to grow and diversify the base of donors so blood and blood products can continue to be supplied to hospitals. About 9,000 new plasma donors are also needed.

Pictured top: The new mural in Stockwell (Picture: NHS BT)

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