News releases

NHS Blood and Transplant partners with Christian churches for fleshandblood campaign

Monday, 28 January 2013

 



NHS Blood and Transplant partners with Christian churches for fleshandblood campaign

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) and creative agency KORE, have joined forces to promote fleshandblood, a campaign to mobilise the Christian Church to increase the number of blood and organ donors in the UK. This partnership marks the first time that NHSBT has worked with the Christian Church on a national initiative to promote blood and organ donation.

fleshandblood is a two year campaign, starting on 28 January 2013, which aims to build on the Church's culture of giving and make blood and organ donation part of this. Working with various denominations, organisations and festivals, the campaign will raise awareness of, and encourage, blood and organ donation within the Christian community.

In addition to incorporating blood and organ donation into the 'giving' culture of the Christian Church, fleshandblood will provide resources to equip individuals in the local Church to explore donation with its members and wider community. These advocates in the church will work to educate and inform people about the finer details of blood and organ donation from a Christian perspective.

To date, the Church of England, Methodist Church, Baptist Union, United Reformed Church, Salvation Army, Evangelical Alliance and Hope have all signed up to the campaign.

While the campaign will consist of many different strands of activity, all interest will be directed to the website www.fleshandblood.org. This website will provide detailed information about blood and organ donation and allow people to register to become donors without having to leave the site.

Bishop James Newcombe, Church of England Lead Bishop for Healthcare, said:

"fleshandblood is an exciting opportunity for the Church. I would encourage individual Christians and local churches to engage with the campaign as we help address an important social issue and generously serve the communities to which we belong. Being willing to give our time, money and gifts is a significant aspect of our stewardship of what we have received. But this applies just as much to the blood that flows in our veins; and the organs that are such an intrinsic part of our bodies."

Lorna Williamson, Medical Director at NHSBT, said:

"All major faith groups support donation in the spirit of giving and we're excited to explore this in more detail by working with the Christian Church. By raising awareness amongst its members and community about the daily need for blood transfusions and organ transplants across the NHS, we hope to banish myths, educate people and encourage blood and organ donation. Donating blood, joining the Organ Donor Register, or consenting to organ donation from a deceased loved one is a unique gift and one that can truly save lives."

Ends

For additional information please contact the NHSBT press office number on 01923 367600 or pressoffice@nhsbt.nhs.uk
For urgent, out-of-hours media enquiries - Please call 0117 969 2444.

Notes to editors

About NHBST
NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) is a joint England and Wales Special Health Authority. Its remit includes the provision of a reliable, efficient supply of blood and associated services to the NHS in England and North Wales. It is also the organ donor organisation for the UK and is responsible for matching and allocating donated organs.

About KORE
Kore is a creative agency that builds socially good ideas. They operate a small team committed to collaboration and draw upon the creative energy and expertise of a growing global network. Acting as a broker, architect and translator they also work with charities and organisations helping them to build ideas and develop strategy.

About fleshandblood
Founded as a partnership between KORE and NHSBT, the campaign seeks to create a network of associates committed to supporting the campaign and providing further distribution in order to engage with a broad spectrum of the church in the UK.

www.fleshandblood.org is a hub of free resources, stories and media: providing information and practical ideas for churches and communities to engage with the campaign.

There are 3 calls to action involved in the campaign accessed via the website:

  1. Register Online: Sign up to give blood or join the Organ Donor Register
  2. Make a date to donate: Book a date to give blood at a venue near you
  3. Be an advocate: Lend your voice, raise awareness, and find ways to involve others.

Mobile blood donor units will also be present on-site at a number of festivals and events throughout 2013/14.

Over the campaign's two-year duration its effectiveness and impact will be monitored through registration statistics measured by NHS Blood & Transplant and research polls conducted by Christian Research.

About blood donation

  • NHSBT collects approximately two million units of blood each year from 1.4 million blood donors
  • The NHS needs 7,000 voluntary donations of blood daily
  • Around 4% of the eligible population are active blood donors
  • A unit of blood is measured as 470mls (or just under a pint)
  • Female whole blood donors can give blood every 16 weeks, while male blood donors must wait 12 weeks between donations
  • There are four main blood groups - O, A, B and AB. Group O is the most common and therefore the most in demand. Over 95% of the blood collected is processed into its main components - red cells, platelets and plasma. A regular supply of blood is vital as red cells last only 35 days and platelets only seven days.

About organ donation

  • The NHS Organ Donor Register records the details of people who have registered their wishes to donate organs and/or tissue after their death for transplantation. After someone has died, this information is checked by authorised medical staff to establish whether a person wanted to donate
  • Anyone can register on the ODR. Age is not a barrier to being an organ or tissue donor and neither are most medical conditions. People in their 70s and 80s have become organ donors and saved many lives. The oldest recorded cornea donor was 102
  • One donor can save or transform up to nine lives and many more can be helped through the donation of tissues
  • To add your name to the NHS Organ Donor Register, please call 0300 123 2323.
Join the Organ Donor Register 0300 123 23 23