Press Centre

ITV2’s Blood Squad campaign returns to support NHS Blood and Transplant

Help save and improve up to three lives with just an hour of your time: ITV2’s Blood Squad campaign returns to support NHS Blood and Transplant

ITV2’s Blood Squad returns for its fourth year, as ITV2 teams up again with NHS Blood and Transplant to appeal to young people to help save and improve lives by giving blood. A series of special promos featuring the likes of Tiffany Calver, Darren Harriott, Joel Dommett and Emily Atack will return to our screens across ITV2 and social media on November 16th.

With the message that donating blood can save or improve up to three lives, Blood Squad aims to help rebuild and future proof the pool of regular blood donors as the NHS recovers from the pandemic. The campaign by ITV Creative cheekily reminds us to ‘Save Lives, Grab a Biscuit’, highlighting the tasty upside of donating blood.

This year, while encouraging donations from everyone, the campaign includes a specific appeal for donors of a Black heritage to sign up, because they are more likely to have the blood type needed to treat the 15,000 people with sickle cell disorder. Sickle cell is the fastest growing blood disorder in the UK which mostly affects people with a Black African or Black Caribbean background and where ethnically matched blood transfusions are crucial in the treatment of this often extremely painful disorder.

This year Blood Squad turns four and last year the award-winning campaign in partnership with NHSBT prompted over 136,000 blood donors to register. NHSBT needs 450 people to register as new donors every day to future proof the pool of regular donors and the next generation are vital in replacing those who can no longer donate.

“This is the fourth year ITV has supported NHS Blood and Transplant. We’re delighted that ITV2 viewers are so public minded in signing up to give blood and delighted to do our bit in recruiting even more of the next generation of blood donors. It’s another demonstration of the power of TV to shape culture for good.” - Susie Braun, ITV Director of Social Purpose

“Through this ITV2 partnership we want to highlight the unprecedented challenge ahead, as we rebuild the donor community to future proof our service while also facing the immediate need to build blood stocks in the lead up to winter. Please do something amazing and help the NHS to recover and build a bright future by becoming a first-time donor or keep to your appointment if you already donate, especially if you live or work near to one of our donor centres. Each donation can save or improve up to three lives and we particularly need more Black donors. - Alex Cullen, Head of Marketing for blood donation at NHS Blood and Transplant

Join us to save lives by registering to give blood, visit blood.co.uk to sign up and book an appointment today. If you can’t find an appointment straight away, please don’t worry. Please book an appointment for the next few weeks or months – you will still be saving lives.

Save a life. Give blood. #ITV2BloodSquad

[end]

For all media queries about blood donation in England contact Sian Edwards, Communications Manager at NHS Blood and Transplant - email pressoffice@nhsbt.nhs.uk

About NHS Blood and Transplant:

·   NHS Blood and Transplant is a joint England and Wales Special Health Authority. We provide the blood donation service for England and the organ donation service for the UK. We also provide donated tissues, stem cells and cord blood. We are an essential part of the NHS, saving and improving lives through public donation.

·   It is quick and easy to book an appointment to give blood. Call 0300 123 23 23 or visit www.blood.co.uk 

·   NHSBT has 23 permanent donor centres in London (Tooting, Edgware, West End) Manchester (Plymouth Grove and Norfolk House), Cambridge, Luton, Nottingham, Sheffield, Leicester, Bradford, Leeds, Newcastle, Lancaster, Liverpool, Stoke, Birmingham, Bristol, Gloucester, Oxford, Southampton, Poole and Plymouth. Our mobile teams also collect blood at community venues such as church halls around the country.

·   NHS Blood and Transplant needs to collect 1.4 million units of blood each year to meet the needs of patients across England.

·   There are four main blood groups – O, A, B and AB. O negative (the universal blood group) and B negative are particularly vulnerable to shortfalls. So, we want people with those blood groups to donate as regularly as they can.

·   The overall demand for blood is falling by 3-4% per year due to improvements in clinical practice and our work with hospitals to ensure blood is used appropriately for patients.

·   We need 135,000 new blood donors each year to replace those who stop donating and to ensure we have the right mix of blood groups to match patient needs in the future

·   We urgently need more black donors as they are more likely to have the blood type needed to treat the increasing number of patients suffering from sickle cell disease.

·   There is an urgent need for donors with Ro blood. Only 2% of our donors have Ro type blood. Collecting enough is a constant challenge. Ro is often used to save people with the rare blood disorder, sickle cell disease. Ro blood is ten times more common in black people than in white people.