Blood Bank

New bank with a difference launches early after 'overwhelming reaction'

A mortgage and property finance collective has today (24th May) announced the official launch of The Blood Bank, an industry initiative aimed at raising awareness of the importance of donating blood.

Following a teaser campaign last week, the launch date has been brought forward due to the overwhelming response from the industry.

The Blood Bank has been created to serve as a platform to educate and encourage those who can to donate blood.

It aims to turn the finance sector’s concepts of deposits, savings and lending into a nationwide effort to get more people informed about blood donation and, ultimately, increase the giving thereof, with the goal of recruiting 30,000 blood donors from across the financial services sector by 2022.

The NHS needs:

  • nearly 400 new donors a day to meet demand
  • around 135,000 new donors a year to replace those who can no longer donate
  • 40,000 more black donors to meet growing demand for better-matched blood
  • 30,000 new donors with priority blood types such as O negative every year
  • more young people to start giving blood so there is enough blood in the future.

The bank’s website acts as a central portal, providing information about what giving blood entails and tracking the number of people in the financial services industry who register to become donors and eventually donate.

Employers that want to organise company-wide drives can also access useful resources on the website and request virtual explainer sessions with the NHSBT team.  

The idea was initiated by regular donors Roger Morris, group distribution director at OSB Group; Tim Vigeon, head of lending at Buckinghamshire Building Society; and Peter Harte, sales development manager at Mortgage Brain. 

Since then, various trade publications and other industry stakeholders have helped the trio get it off the ground and build maximum distribution potential. 

Sharing his experience as a donor, Roger said he first gave blood when he was a young firefighter, after rescuing a woman severely injured in a car accident.

“I went with her in the ambulance to the hospital and remember saying to the surgeon that I wished there was something more I could do to help and he said that, if I really meant it, to go and donate some blood. I did then, and it’s something I’ve done more than 60 times since. 

Roger donating blood

“I’m incredibly passionate about it and encourage everyone to get involved. It doesn’t take long, doesn’t cost anything, and by donating just a pint of blood you can save up to three lives — it’s the greatest gift you can give.”

Tim commented: “I was inspired to give blood by my mum and dad who were regular donors and have been donating since the 1980s. 

“As it happens, I have one of the rarer blood groups so I try to donate as often as I can. 

“#Dosomethingamazing sums up exactly what giving blood is all about – you are helping someone or saving a life. And the biscuits you get post-donation are a bonus…

“The last time I donated, there was a lady who was giving for the 93rd time – this gives me the encouragement to keep on donating.” 

Peter added: “I was one of those people that always thought about giving blood, but was always ‘too busy’. 

“I finally got my act together to donate and, since then, it’s become a regular occurrence. 

“Being totally honest, you come away feeling great about yourself as you know you’ve done a good thing, but what really brought it home was when I got the text after my third or fourth time giving to say my donation had been used at Birmingham Children’s Hospital — why would you not donate when you can save a child’s life?”

Kevin Roberts, director at L&G Mortgage Club, stated: “Really grateful to The Blood Bank for a gentle nudge to get me back to donating — my wife and I are eagerly awaiting the next appointment at our local centre; we’re both inspired!”

A Twitter account is live and supporters are encouraged to tag @mtgbloodbank and use #mortgagebloodbank alongside their donation experience photos and videos, as well as snapshots of texts confirming where their donations are being used, to spread the word.

Leave a comment