The NHS needs younger blood donors to attend its Westfield centre.
The call has gone out for more under 35s – the Millennials and Gen Zs – to call in to the donor centre in the White City shopping centre.
Shepherds Bush and White City are one of the few parts of the country where younger donors outnumber their older counterparts, with two in three donors aged between 17 and 44. But more under 35s are still needed to become lifesavers as the stats show that only half as many people aged between 17 and 24 give blood compared to five years ago.
Be like Steph
A new NHS campaign urges anyone aged 17 to 35 to follow the example of Steph Ransome, 32, who started donating when she turned 17, inspired by her dad who was a lifelong donor.
The charity worker has notched up 45 donations and is hoping to reach 50 by the age of 35.
I give blood because I can and because it’s needed. Knowing you’ve saved or improved a life is so rewarding,” she said.
“It’s so much less scary than you might think. The actual donation takes only 5-10 minutes while you sit back and relax in a comfy chair. It’s a small commitment that could literally save a life.”
Steph donates at community sessions, which are held in places such as church halls, and at centres including the one on the first floor at Westfield, between The Village and M&S.
“Every session is full of lovely people, both staff and donors, and I definitely overstay my welcome at the food table afterwards,” she added.
“It’s easy to fit giving blood into my life. I book using the app and never have a problem finding a slot. Everyone would expect there to be blood if one of our loved ones needed it, so why not contribute to those stocks?”
Dr Jo Farrar, NHS Blood and Transplant chief executive, said: “Because lifesaving blood only has a short shelf life, we need to constantly collect it and need a steady stream of new donors.
“Giving blood feels great. In just one hour you can save up to three lives. Please register and book your first appointment today.”
The campaign particularly aims to recruit more donors of Black heritage as they are more likely to have Ro blood, the type needed to treat people with sickle cell, the fastest growing genetic blood disorder in the UK.
Only two per cent of donors have Ro type blood, which is 10 times more common in Black people than in white people.