London Fire Brigade

Brigade to host first blood donor sessions at London fire station

19 September 2017

The Brigade, working in partnership with NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), will be opening the doors of Shadwell Fire Station in Tower Hamlets to offer blood donor sessions on Friday, 29th September 2017. 

This is the first time NHSBT, has  teamed up with the fire service in the capital.  There will be one session per month at the station and registered donors, who are eligible to donate, can book appointments online.  Over 6000 blood donations are needed every day to ensure stocks meet patient demand. 

Donors are especially needed from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities and it’s hoped Shadwell’s diverse community will be well placed to help address this need. As well as donating blood, donors will also be given the opportunity to join the Organ Donor Register.

The Brigade’s Borough Commander for Tower Hamlets, Pat Goulbourne, said: “By partnering with NHS Blood and Transplant, we are another step closer to our goal of bringing our fire stations into the heart of the communities they serve.

“Opening up our fire station to support NHSBT means we’re able to help local people make potentially life saving donations.  The Brigade and NHSBT share a common goal – to save lives – so working together is a natural fit. 

"With a combined passion for saving lives and keeping people safe and well, we hope it’ll result in the community seizing this opportunity on their doorstep. As a blood donor myself, I know it’s a simple quick process to donate blood and it can make a huge difference to someone in need.”

Ian Trenholm, CEO of NHSBT, says: “Many people would not be alive today if it wasn't for the generosity of our donors.  During the last year,  900,000 people gave up their time to help patients in need and we are grateful to each and every one of them. But each year we need 200,000 new blood donors to ensure that patients in the future have access to the blood they need, when they need it. 

“It’s important to also stress the particular need for black donors. For some conditions, such as Sickle Cell Disease, patients need blood which is closely matched and this is most likely to come from a donor of the same ethnicity.

"However, currently only 1% of blood donors in England are from black communities so it’s vital we encourage more people from this community to come forward, face their fears and find time to donate. We hope that by working in partnership with the London Fire Brigade, we can address this urgent need.”

Anyone interested in giving blood is encouraged to register as a blood donor or call 0300 123 23 23. Once registered, donors can sign into their online account and book a session at Shadwell Fire Station. 

Donors attending the first session at the fire station will be able to book an afternoon appointment, sessions will run between 13:00 to 15:30 and from 16:30 until 19:00.  The Brigade is expected to expand the service to other locations in 2018.