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11 June 2013

Give blood in National Blood Week

Give blood in National Blood Week

To mark National Blood Week (10-16 June), denominations, organisations and local churches are encouraging Christians to make a different kind of offering – to give their blood.

As part of the fleshandblood (fab) campaign, of which the Alliance is a supporter, churches are being urged to give blood and use the week as an opportunity to increase the number of blood donors in the UK.

Groundbreaking research carried out by the campaign suggests that 70% of Christians already consider blood and/or organ donation to be a part of their core 'Christian giving' or are open to the idea and that almost one in ten Christians have given blood in the last year compared to a 4% national UK average over the last two years.

Lorna Williamson, Medical Director of NHSBT says, "All major faith groups support donation in the spirit of giving and we're excited to explore this in more detail with the Christian Church. By raising awareness amongst its members and community about the daily need for blood transfusion we hope to banish myths, educate people and encourage blood donation".

The fleshandblood campaign aims to profile the need for more blood and organ donors and encourage donation as an alternative way of personal giving within churches.

This week churches are being encouraged to register together by texting FAB BLOOD to 62323; encourage church communities to make a date to donate together during this week or soon after; and volunteer their venues as potential future locations for blood donation.

Every day 7,000 units of blood are needed to meet hospital demand, with approximately 225,000 extra blood donors needed each year to maintain consistency. More than 1,000 people die each year in the UK waiting for an organ transplant. The Church, which has a long history of giving and generosity and has millions of people across the country as its members, is ideally placed to raise awareness and help to meet the need for blood and organ donation in the UK.

Fleshandblood was founded as a two-year partnership between creative agency KORE and NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSNT). It is in associations with Christian denominations, organisations and festivals and marks the first time the NHS has worked alongside the Church on a national initiative of this kind.

Krish Kandiah, executive director: churches in mission at the Alliance, said: "We are delighted to be part of the fleshandblood campaign. As Christians we are called to follow in Christ's footsteps by living lives of radical generosity. Blood and organ donation are very practical ways we can serve our neighbours and communities. We really encourage the UK Church to get behind this campaign."

Find out more about Blood Week and how you can be involved. http://www.fleshandblood.org/bloodweek