‘Rise up and Give Blood’

NHS B Positive Choir launches debut single

The NHS B Positive Choir and Gospel singer Lurine Cato launch Rise Up, to encourage more people to Rise Up and be counted as blood donors, and raise vital funds to help support the life changing work of the choir.

To see Rise Up at MOBO AWARDS 2017, and for lots more about B Positive go to: www.blood.co.uk/bpositive The MOBO Organisation, was established in 1996 by Kanya King MBE to motivate, elevate and celebrate the outstanding achievements of artists in under-served musical genres, from soul, RnB and reggae to hip hop, Jazz and gospel and has been a major influencer in elevating afrobeat and grime to the mainstream. Over the years, MOBO Organisation has developed from the highly anticipated annual MOBO Awards into a pioneering movement encouraging cultural and social responsibility and change.

B Positive is a group of 60 singers from across England who live with sickle cell disease, their families, helpers and friends. The choir was formed with the mission to create awareness of sickle cell disease and the need for more blood donors. Fresh from their powerful television debut at MOBO Awards 2017 in which they shared the stage with the British Got Talent winner Tokio Myers, the B Positive Choir have released first single "Rise Up", a rendition Andra Day’s original song with lead vocals from Lurine Cato.

NHS Blood and Transplant and MOBO, first started to work together in 2016 to spread awareness of the urgent need for more blood donors to a wider audience. NHS Blood and Transplant urgently needs 200,000 new blood donors each year in order to help provide those who need it with the best care possible. One donation takes an hour and can save up to three lives.

Choir director Colin Anderson said,“Over the last year 900,000 people have given up their time to help patients in need. But we need more new donors. Every day, we need 6,000 donations to continue saving lives. We need life-saving blood from new donors of all backgrounds to provide the closest matches for all communities. We are particularly looking for younger people and black communities to come forward.

Lurine Cato said: “We urgently need 40,000 new black donors help people with sickle cell disease. Sickle cell is more common in black, South Asian and Minority Ethnic people. Blood from black donors provides the closest match to black people who need blood.”

MOBO CEO and Founder, Kanya King MBE said: “We are proud to be partnering with NHS Blood and Transplant on the "B Positive" campaign to help recruit new donors, and use our platform to help reach a wide audience. We were honoured to be able to provide B Positive Choir with their television debut, and it's amazing to see the response they have received.”

There are four main blood groups – O, A, B and AB. Group O is the most common and therefore the most in demand. A regular supply of blood is vital – red cells last 35 days and platelets only 7 days. The overall demand for blood is falling by 3-4% per year due to improvements in clinical practice and is a trend that is being seen around the world and also thanks to our work with hospitals to ensure blood is used appropriately for patients.

The NHS need just under 200,000 new blood donors each year to replace those who no longer donate and to ensure we have the right mix of blood groups to match patient needs in the future. Some blood groups, such as O negative (the universal blood group), A negative and B negative are particularly vulnerable to shortfalls. They also need more black African, black Caribbean, mixed race and South Asian people to become blood donors to reflect the ethnic diversity of patients.

In general, as long as you are fit and healthy, weigh over 7 stone 12 lbs (50kg) and are aged between 17 and 66 (up to 70 if you have given blood before) you should be able to give blood. If you are over 70, you need to have given blood in the last two years to continue donating. To find out more or book an appointment visit www.blood.co.uk, call 0300 123 23 23 so search for ‘NHS Give Blood’ app.

Blood donors can search for sessions, book appointments, change/cancel their appointments and change their contact details in real time at www.blood.co.uk. There are apps available for Android, Windows and Apple Smartphone and tablet devices which enable donors to search for sessions based on their location and book and manage appointments.

The donor line - 0300 123 23 23 - is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. NHS Blood and Transplant needs to collect 1.6 million units of blood each year to meet the needs of patients across England.

Sickle Cell is more common in Black, South Asian and Minority Ethnic people. Around 15,000 people in the UK have Sickle Cell Disease. Each month hospitals in England request 3-4,000 units of red cells to treat patients with Sickle Cell. Some blood groups such as B positive and RO are more common in black people.

Plea for donors of B- and O- blood

NHS Blood and Transplant needs donors with B negative and O negative blood to donate after the bad weather hit blood collection.

Donors with these groups will be able to walk in and donate at Tooting Donor Centre by St George’s Hospital, without the need to make an appointment.

The recent freezing weather and snow put many people off donating, and led to some cancelled sessions, meaning stocks of these valuable groups are lower than seriously ill hospital patients will need this Christmas.

O negative is the universal donor blood which can be safely give to almost anyone, making it especially valuable for trauma patients where there is little time to test for blood groups. Only 9% of donors are O negative.

B negative is particularly important because many patients with serious blood disorders such as sickle cell disease and thalassemia need B negative blood. Only 2% of donors are B negative and it is a blood group more common in black and Asian people.


December 15, 2017