Missing Type campaign brings a flood of new blood donors

The Missing Type campaign encouraged 450 people in Tyne and Wear to become new blood donors.
The Missing Type campaign encouraged 450 people in Tyne and Wear to become new blood donors.

Hundreds of people in the North East were among thousands around the country who have signed up to become blood donors after a national campaign.

Missing Type was launched by NHS Blood and Transplant to highlight the need for more new donors across the country.

It was so successful that twice as many people registered to become donors in England during the two-week campaign compared to the previous fortnight.

There were more than 8,000 in the first three days alone, and 24,000 in all during the course of the campaign.

In Tyne and Wear, 450 people signed up to be new blood donors.

Jon Latham, NHS Blood and Transplant’s assistant director for donor services and marketing, said: “The response to Missing Type was once again fantastic.

"We’re so grateful to everybody that has come forward to become a new blood donor and to all the brands, organisations and people who showed their support and helped us raise awareness.

“Blood donation is an amazing gift – every donation given can help save or transform up to three lives.

"New blood donors are vital for ensuring we have the right mix of blood groups to meet patient need.

"We hope everyone who was inspired to register will now go on to book an appointment and become a regular donor - and that companies who backed the campaign will continue to help us promote blood donation.”

The campaign - first run in 2015 - this year brought together 25 blood services across 21 countries in a global drive for donor.

NHS Blood and Transplant particularly needs more O- and A- donors, more young blood donors and more black and South Asian donors.

Throughout the Missing Type campaign As, Bs and Os - the letters of the main blood groups – disappeared in everyday and iconic locations around the world.

In England, major supporters include Microsoft, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, Boots, Manchester City Football Club, Lloyds Bank and Royal Mail.

Last year, 17,524 people in Tyne and Wear gave blood at least once.

Mike Stredder, director of blood donation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “Up to 2.7 million people in England were helped last year thanks to the generosity of our donors.

"For patients receiving treatment for cancer, blood disorders, after accidents or during surgery, or new mums who lost blood in childbirth, blood is an absolutely essential.

“Across the world, clinical advances mean overall blood use in hospitals is declining, but we still need more people to start giving blood to replace those who can no longer donate and to ensure we have the right mix of blood groups to match patient needs in the future.

“Don’t worry if you’ve never given blood before and don’t know what blood group you are – you find out shortly after your first donation.

"What’s important is that you register as a donor and book your first appointment to donate.”

Donating blood should take no more than an hour from appointment time, and each donation can save or improve up to three lives.

To sign up as a new donor, visit www.blood.co.uk or call 0300 123 23 23