NHS Blood and Transplant to attend UK Black Pride festival to celebrate one year since changes to blood donation eligibility rules

Graham Robson August 10, 2022

NHS Blood and Transplant will be attending the UK Black Pride event for the first time on Sunday, August 14 to celebrate changes in blood donation eligibility rules which means more people than ever before can now become donors.

The NHS hopes to reach the 15,000 people expected to attend the event this weekend from the African, Asian and Caribbean and LGBTQ+ communities in London with the message that more people than ever before can now donate blood.

UK Black Pride takes place at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, London, on Sunday, August 14.

Community engagement teams from NHS Blood and Transplant will be promoting blood and organ donation at UK Black Pride and speaking to people about the eligibility changes.

There is an urgent need for more donors as blood stock levels are expected to be a challenge through the summer when people are busy with holidays and events and appointments are impacted by staff and donor illness.

In July, NHS Blood and Transplant launched a new LonDonor campaign to encourage more people across the capital to become blood donors with 42,000 new blood donors in London needed this year to keep supplying blood for lifesaving treatments. There is also a critical need for more people of Black African and Black Caribbean ethnicity to become blood donors.

Pav Akhtar, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “The first-year anniversary of new eligibility changes coming into effect is a significant milestone for safe and inclusive donations.

“NHS Blood and Transplant now has one of the world’s most progressive blood donation policies, while still maintaining the safety of our blood supply – something we can all be proud of.

“This is an opportunity to build on our existing work with diverse communities to encourage more people to donate by raising awareness of these eligibility changes.

“We are delighted to be partnering with UK Black Pride to promote the life-changing gift of blood donation that many more people from LGBTQ+ and Black communities are now able to give.

“It takes just one hour to give blood, and each time you can save or improve up to three lives.”

Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, the founder and Executive Director of UK Black Pride, added: “Black and LGBTQ+ communities have always made a massive contribution to the lives and wellbeing of patients and the NHS.

“This partnership between the NHS and UK Black Pride will help to ensure more potential donors are aware that restrictions have been removed, and that they can help save lives too.

“UK Black Pride is a leader in eradicating barriers to Black and LGBTQ+ peoples’ access and contribution to life-saving services.

“Having the blood and organ donation teams at UK Black Pride will help with the education we need to recruit more diverse donors and ensure we have more equitable and inclusive outcomes that reduce health inequalities.”

For more info on becoming a donor, CLICK HERE, download the GiveBloodNHS app or call 0300 123 23 23.

For more info on UK Black Pride, CLICK HERE