MEMBERS of Bradford's Junior Chamber International (JCI) have joined forces with the NHS to encourage people to sign up to the "greatest team in the world" and become a blood donor.
Throughout this year's summer of sport, recruitment events will be taking place across the country to boost the NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) campaign to get the 200,000 new donors needed every year.
JCI Bradford members will be using social media to spread the word, visiting the Bradford Donor Centre to find out more about donating, and hosting a stand in Bradford's Kirkgate shopping centre between 11am and 4pm tomorrow, the eve of the 2014 World Cup Final between Germany and Argentina in Brazil.
Donna Batty, lead donor relations manager for Bradford, said: “The number of new donors we need this year would more than fill the three stadiums England played in during their three games at the World Cup.
"Getting behind your team can feel really special, and so can donating blood knowing that you’re saving and improving lives.
"Whether it is the World Cup, the Wimbledon finals, or the Commonwealth Games, this year's summer is filled with sport.
"In Bradford we are asking people to join our existing donors who are already part of the greatest team in the world to give blood to help save lives.
“To have the support of JCI Bradford is terrific and we hope their members inspire people to sign up."
Michelle Pemberton, community director of JCI Bradford, said: “Our campaign with NHS Blood and Transplant aims to raise awareness of the local need for blood donors, show people that it is easy and quick to donate and that their donation could be the difference between life and death.”
NHSBT collects 1.8 million units of blood every year from about 23,000 blood donation sessions in more than 3,000 venues nationwide, but only four per cent of the eligible population are registered as active blood donors.
Currently, there is a need for more young and BME donors, with figures showing nearly half of those who have given blood over the last two years are over 45, and only four per cent from BME communities.
For more information on the campaign, visit blood.co.uk or call 0300 123 23 23.