Premium Listings

Bumper sporting calendar, Olympics and bank holidays keep donors away

Date published: 02 January 2012

NHS Blood and Transplant is warning that a ‘perfect storm’ could be created by next year’s bumper sporting calendar and extra bank holidays, severely affecting blood donation levels in the North West in 2012.

NHSBT statistics show that 93% of donors give blood during the working week and that when there are big sporting events or a string of bank holidays national donation levels drop:

  • The bumper bank holidays around Easter and the Royal Wedding Week in 2011 resulted in 3500 fewer donations.
  • Last year on one day alone there were 851 fewer donations than the previous year, constituting a 12% drop due to the combination of particularly warm, sunny weather, the World Cup Quarter Final and Andy Murray’s Wimbledon Semi Final.

Barbara Blanche, Donor Relations Manager for the North West said: “2012 is going to be an exciting year for the UK but we’re concerned that the cluster of major events could dramatically impact the number of blood donations coming in.

Approximately 2 million units of blood will be needed by hospitals throughout 2012, and the equivalent of 500 extra donations will be needed each week in the first six months to help us build blood stocks and cover extra potential need from Olympic visitors.

We’re calling on the public to make regular blood donation a New Year’s resolution. Whether you’ve never donated before or haven’t done for a while please book your appointment and help save lives in 2012.”

A significant drop in donations could have a massive impact on the thousands of people in England who require blood. Blood ‘products’ are not just for road traffic accidents, they are used to treat people with cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, sickle cell disease, for new mums and babies, and during surgery.

Renowned comedian and writer Dave Spikey is supporting NHSBT’s ‘Gift of Life’ campaign. Until 2000, he was chief biomedical scientist in the haematology laboratory at Royal Bolton Hospital, where his wife, Kay, also worked. Dave said:

“With over 20 years experience in the NHS, I have seen first hand how vital blood supplies are. People may have busy social diaries over the festive period, but giving blood is such a quick and simple thing to do and is the ultimate gift you can give. I urge anyone that can give blood to do something amazing this Christmas and make an appointment to donate. In fact, why not donate on a regular basis and make it a resolution to keep in 2012?”

Other celebrities supporting the New Year resolution campaign include Olympic runner Jo Pavey, singer Sophie Ellis Bextor, Dancing on Ice star Jayne Torvill, Olympic bob skeleton champion Amy Williams, Derby County FC Manager Nigel Clough, Rugby League star Steve Prescott and TV presenters Penny Smith and Ben Fogle.

You can start donating from the age of 17. So do something amazing this festive season and call 0300 123 23 23 or visit the website to find out about your nearest blood donation session.

For more information about blood donation or to make an appointment visit, call 0300 123 2323 or follow NHSBT at or  


Enhanced Listings