Hundreds of new people have registered to become blood donors in Bedfordshire, following a recruitment campaign for National Blood Week.
The NHS ‘Missing Type’ campaign was so successful it saw more than 30,000 people across the UK registered as donors over the course of the week – three times more than during last year’s campaign.
In Bedfordshire, 351 people registered as a blood donor between the campaign’s launch on June 5 and World Blood Donor Day on Sunday, June 14.
This compares to 105 in the same period last year.
The ‘Missing Type’ campaign saw the letters A, O and B – the letters that make up the blood groups – removed from public view to draw attention to the need for new blood donors.
Organisations and companies across the country changed social media profiles using #Missingtype to encourage people to sign up as new donors.
High-profile supporters included Downing Street, Waterstones Odeon, O2, Green and Black’s, NotOnTheHighStreet.com, NOW TV, GAME Google, 02, Microsoft, McDonalds, Hummingbird Bakery, British Airways, The Church of England, UNISON, Marmite, TFL, Coca-Cola, Arsenal Football Club, Santander, London Ambulance Service, Nandos and Starbucks.
The ‘Missing Type’ campaign aimed to draw public attention to the fact that 40 per cent fewer new donors came forward last year compared to a decade ago.
While blood stocks are currently good, if not enough new people donate blood, there would not be enough blood available when patients need it in future.
Jon Latham, of NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “’I’d like to say a huge thank you to everybody in Bedfordshire who responded to our ‘Missing Type’ campaign by either helping to spread the word or by signing up to donate.”
Visit www.blood.co.uk or call 0300 123 23 23 to find out if you are eligible to donate.