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BME communities urged to donate blood

National Blood Service recruits donors on 13th and 14th April. Live performance by Beres Hammond

10th April 2009: The VIP Appeal is partnering with a series of star-studded concerts and events up and down the country to inform and encourage people to register as blood donors.

On the 13th April at the Coronet and 14th April at the Tudor Rose, the VIP Appeal will be recruiting new blood donors from 7pm at these very special shows with Beres Hammond.

These events will pay homage to the reggae legend Beres Hammond who is in the UK for a series of long awaited performances.

beresfront.jpgBeres has an impressive music career, which spans over 35 years. His great hits include ‘What One Dance Can do’, ‘She Loves Me Now’ and international hit ‘Tempted To Touch’.

Supporting Beres is another reggae heavy weight Maxi Priest, who will be performing some of his biggest songs including the smash hits single ‘Close To you’.

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

Statistics show that less than 3% of the total numbers of donors are from ethnic minority backgrounds. This means that on average, just over 200 people from BME communities donate each day across the whole of the UK.

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. Without donated blood, Anne and many others would not be here.

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 we can continue helping those in need.”

For more information on the VIP Appeal, visit www.blood.co.uk/vip or call 0845 7 711 711.

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