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Jade EwenThe VIP Appeal is a new campaign by the National Blood Service (NBS) in conjunction with the ACLT to encourage Black African, Black Caribbean and South Asian communities to give blood and help meet the need for rare blood types within ethnic minority communities.

Statistics show that less than three per cent of the total number of donors are from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Everyday, people from African and Caribbean communities require blood transfusions. One such patient whose life has been transformed by blood donation is Anne Welsh. Anne suffers from Sickle Cell Anaemia, and thanks to regular blood transfusions this West Londoner of African background was able to complete an impressive array of professional qualifications and pursue a high-flying career as an investment banker.

Lynda Hamlyn, Chief Executive of NHS Blood and Transplant said, “We are encouraging people from the widest communities to come forward to ensure that whenever someone is in need of blood or bone marrow, there is a matching type available. Some blood types are more common within ethnic communities and with bone marrow; you are much more likely to find a match from your own ethnic group.

There are also health conditions like Sickle Cell Anaemia and Thalassaemia Major which are prevalent within ethnic communities that need constant supplies of blood. All of these factors show just how important it is for people from all communities to come forward and give blood.” So, to become a Very Important Person and do something amazing, visit www.blood.co.uk/vip and register there as a blood donor.

For more information visit www.blood.co.uk/vip or call 0300 123 2323 quoting reference A05.

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