Churches unite for World Blood Donor Day
To mark this year’s National Blood Week and World Blood Donor Day on 14 June, churches across Britain and Ireland are being encouraged to raise the profile of blood donation in their local communities
campaign, supported by the Baptist Union, is encouraging communities and congregations as a corporate act of generosity to register as blood donors this week by visiting www.fleshandblood.org/blood/register
or by texting ‘FAB Blood’ to 62323 in England and Wales.
In addition to new registrations, existing blood donors are being asked to book a date to donate blood. A survey, conducted by Christian Research on behalf of flesh
found that 10 per cent of Christians have given blood in the last year compared to 4 per cent of the general population who have given blood in the last two years.
Local churches are also being provided with practical tools and ideas to promote donation through the “Church Challenge” www.fleshandblood.org/churchchallenge
, with those taking part receiving personalised certificates signed by the Chief Executive of NHS Blood and Transplant, Lynda Hamlyn.
campaign marks the first time the NHS has worked alongside the church on a national initiative of this kind.
The Revd Dr Martyn Atkins, General Secretary of the Methodist Church said, 'This is an exciting opportunity for churches to become long term advocates of blood donation in their local communities. By raising awareness, encouraging discussion and providing ways to give they could play a significant role in transforming the lives of others through donation.'
campaign celebrated its newest associate just in time for National Blood Week with the Church of Ireland joining the growing list of denominations and organisations committed to the long term advocacy of donation. Meeting in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, the General Synod of the Church of Ireland voted unanimously to join the campaign to a response of spontaneous applause.
In his Presidential address the Archbishop of Armagh, Dr Richard Clarke said, 'The Church is an organism that is characterised by its giving nature; its people who are characterised by being giving people. The flesh
campaign comes straight to our understanding of the human person as gift, and even of the human body in death, as potential gift for others.'
Sponsored by Give.net and in association with denominations, organisations and festivals including the Church of England, Baptist Union, The Salvation Army, Methodist Church, United Reformed Church, Church In Wales, Church of Ireland, Church of Scotland, Seventh Day Adventist Church, Hope and Evangelical Alliance, the fleshandblood campaign marks the first time the NHS has worked alongside the church on a national initiative of this kind.
Every blood donation saves or improves the lives of up to three people. 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.