NEOANGELS, the charity which supports sick and premature babies on the Neonatal Unit at the University Hospital North Tees has made a pledge to help save lives.
The charity is asking for 100 people to sign up and donate blood via the NHS Blood service by December 31 2017 as part of its ‘Go Red For Pink And Blue’ campaign.
On the Neonatal Unit, blood transfusions are used almost daily to help save the lives of the very sick babies who are being cared for by the staff.
The ‘Go Red For Pink And Blue’ campaign urges people sign up to donate by December 31st and if their donation takes place before this date, to share a photo of themselves giving blood while wearing a Neoangels wrist band and share it to the charity’s Facebook page.
If donors are unable to give blood before the end of the campaign, they’re asked to share a picture of their appointment confirmation instead.
People supporting the campaign are encouraged once they have donated to nominate a family member or friend to join in and do the same.
Kicking off the campaign with its first donations are Trustees Zoe Musgrave and Zoe Joyce.
Zoe Musgrave, Ward Trustee, who has never given blood before, said: “As a Staff Nurse on the Neonatal Unit I am acutely aware of just how important a blood transfusion can be for our babies.
“As a Charity we want to highlight this, and highlight in general how giving one unit of blood can make such a difference to someone’s life.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my experience of giving blood today and I actively encourage as many people as possible to sign up to our campaign.”
Zoe Joyce, Ward Trustee, who had also never donated blood before, added: “This campaign is one which is really close to our hearts – we are so passionate about it. We are incredibly pleased to be able to help more than just the families on our Neonatal Unit.”
One blood donation can be split into six units for neonates as these are smaller than normal units and potentially save up to six lives.
Lottie King, Chair, said: “During our time on the unit, my son Oska received several life saving transfusions, I hadn’t ever really understood the impact of giving blood until my baby was fighting for his life.
“Since then I have donated blood several times and feel privileged to be a part of this campaign and help save a life.”
Jodie Jenkins, Ward Trustee, said: “We are calling on our supporters, staff members on the unit, parents of sick or premature babies to come and join in, make a pledge and save a life.”
To sign up to donate, people are asked to head to the NHS Blood website www.blood.co.uk to register and book an appointment rather than attend a drop-in appointment.
Once a donation has been made, the blood will be allocated to a hospital in the UK, and donors who have opted in to the text service will be sent a text message to let them know where their donation has gone.
Wrist bands for the charity are currently on sale in University Hospital of North Tees Neonatal Unit, Co Op Yarm, Stockton Marks and Spencer or people can contact the Facebook page direct to purchase them.
The hashtags for the campaign are #goredforpinkandblue #neoangelsblood100 and #giveblood.
For further information, people wishing to donate can contact the charity for this via its Facebook page.