Sewa Day, in partnership with NHS Blood and Transplant, haslaunched a new campaign to encourage more people from the South Asian communities to come forward and register as blood and organ donors.
The partnership has enabled the NHS to collect blood at Church of Jesus Christ, Of Latter Day Saints, Banks Road, Toton.
Manoj Ladwa, Sewa Day chairman, said: “People from South Asian communities have contributed generously in many ways in making UK their home.
“Around 8% of the population of England is Asian but only around 2% of people who have given blood in England in the last 12 months is Asian.
“Asian donors are more likely to have rare blood types and require these rare types so it is essential that we have more blood donors from these communities.”
Geraldine Parker, National Blood marketing manager for minority communities, said: “People from South Asian communities can be susceptible to conditions, such as thalassaemia, which leave them requiring regular blood transfusions.
“Blood from a donors with a similar ethnic background is more likely to provide them with the best match and offer better long-term outcomes for patients.”
Manoj Ladwa added: “When people from South Asian communities find out they may have rare blood and tissue types, I’m sure they will want to do everything they can to help save lives.
“There are many South Asian people who actively donate blood but we need more. I urge people to find out if they can donate blood, register and book an appointment to donate online, and also join the NHS Organ Donor Register and tell their family that they want to save lives through organ donation.
“One day it could be someone you love who needs an organ transplant or a blood transfusion.”
In 2017 alone, around 925 blood donations were collected at sessions organised in partnership with Sewa Day across 25 cities, which helped save or improve up to 2775 lives.
More South Asian donors are urgently needed because they are more likely to have certain blood groups. For example, around 20% of South Asian people have group B blood, compared to only 9% of white Europeans. Patients need donors with well-matched blood to ensure they get the best care.
Blood is used to treat critically ill patients, whether they have had cancer, been in an accident, having surgery or following childbirth.
Well-matched blood donations are particularly important for people with blood disorders such as thalassaemia, which is more common in Asian people. Many patients with thalassaemia need regular, lifelong blood transfusions because they cannot carry enough oxygen around their body.