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Register to Give Blood

blood donors help me to fight sickle cell

We need people from all communities to give blood to make sure there’s the right blood available for everyone to meet the needs of all patients. Most people can give blood if they are fit and healthy.

We are highlighting the need for African and Caribbean donors, because of a rise in demand for some rare blood types that are more common in people of Black heritage, and the increase of sickle cell in the UK.

Rare subtypes, such as Ro are more common among people of Black heritage. Demand for these subtypes are growing as more people have regular transfusions to treat blood disorders such as sickle cell.

Ro blood

This is considered to be special blood. Click on the link for more information about Ro blood.

Who can donate blood?

Here are a few reasons why you can donate, and why you can not donate blood

You can donate

  • if you are generally fit and well

  • aged between 17 and 65

  • weigh between 7 stone 12 lbs (50kg) and 25 stone (158kg)

  • have suitable veins (your veins will be checked before you donate)

  • it is 6 months after you have given birth

  • medications will not generally disqualify you from being a blood donor. Your eligibility will be based on the reason that the medication was prescribed. As long as the condition is under control and you are healthy, blood donation is usually permitted.


You cannot give blood

  • if you are pregnant

  • had a tattoo or piercing within 3 months of your donation day

  • high-risk behaviour, such as intravenous drug use

  • certain cancers, autoimmune disorders, or infectious diseases,

  • if you have had a blood transfusion

  • if you have been to the dentist within 7 days of your donation day

  • travelling outside of the UK can affect when you are able to donate blood after you return.

You will need to meet the donor eligibility criteria on the day. This will be checked when you arrive at the donation base.

Unable to give blood?

There are other ways you can help. You can consider volunteering to help, or by making a monetary donation to help to spread awareness.


The process to register as a blood donor

Click on the following link:

Press START NOW to begin the process

  1. Enter your email address

  2. The question is asked, Do you have a donor ID number? If this is your first time registering, state no.

  3. Click the link to confirm your email address, add your address and verify your email

  4. Enter a password and confirm it

  5. Press continue

  6. Account details will be confirmed

  7. Enter the personal details requested

  8. Tick the statement of consent

Thank you for signing up will appear.

You can either log into your account or follow the link from the email you will receive to book an appointment.

Enter your town and available dates will appear for you to select.


Like sickle cell, thalassaemia is an inherited, red cell disorder where the body produces either none or insufficient haemoglobin than normal.


Visit the website below to learn more about thalassaemia.

Testimonies of blood donors

Sickle Cell Suffolk blood donor

Maashes, London

In 2022, I was invited to an online sickle cell awareness event put on by Sickle Cell Suffolk. Until then, although a very close friend was a sickle cell sufferer, I was quite unaware of the importance of blood donations from the African Caribbean community. 


Having been made aware how easy it was to donate, I have done so three times in the past 9 months. 


For anyone considering donating blood, it is quite simple to book appointments using the NHS Blood Donor app and only minor discomfort in the blood extraction process.


I am now a committed donor.

Sickle Cell Suffolk blood donor

Barbara, Ipswich

I give blood because I witnessed a close friend having a Sickle Cell crisis and she needed a blood transfusion to help save her life. This opened my eyes to the fact how important it is to give blood. If I also needed

blood to save my life, I would also hope that someone out there is giving blood to save my life too.

Another reason is because I'm aware we need  more ethnic matched blood from our black community to save the lives of people in our community. Giving a pint of blood takes me eight minutes from start to finish and is painless. It's done in a safe and friendly environment. When its used for a blood transfusion to save a life, I am notified where it goes and feel a sense of gratitude that I've done something good to save a life.


What can be more rewarding than giving my blood to save a life.

I'm aware not everyone can give blood, due to medical conditions, but they can spread the word to family and friends. We are on this earth but once, so something good today and give blood to save a life.

I am also a volunteer and help out monthly with community outreach work.

Sickle Cell Suffolk blood donor

Heather, St.Albans

After attending the talk on World Sickle Cell day 19th June 2023 online by Sickle Cell Suffolk, I wanted to give blood for sickle cell sufferers. I got booked in for 31st July, but then they cancelled it on they day, but I was not given an alternative date.


I finally rebooked for 9th Nov. When I got in the chair, they had problems finding my veins as they said they are deep seated so I couldn't give blood.


I was disappointed as I wanted to help, but now I do my part by sharing the information with others.

Sickle Cell Suffolk blood donor

Louise, Ipswich

I was encouraged by my mum to give blood when she heard about it from her friend Elaine. She told me about the need for donors who are Black, and said that when someone with sickle cell is given blood that is not from the same ethnicity it changes the blood composition.

When I thought about giving blood I was very anxious, so I encouraged my partner to donate as well. We went to the first donation event organised by Sickle Cell Suffolk in 2021, specifically for black people . That's when I found out I have Ro blood, which means my blood can be matched with anyone and is particularly good for people with sickle cell. Finding out I have Ro blood type makes me feel I'm making a valuable contribution to the well-being of others and potentially saving a person's life.

Sickle Cell Suffolk blood donor

Tamar, Ipswich

My mum has sickle cell and I have sickle cell trait, so I’m a carrier of the gene.


I  first gave blood as a result of Sickle Cell Suffolk's first blood donation campaign.


Admittedly, I was one of those people that was scared of the prospect of giving blood, and it can be daunting at first, but you’re always in a room full of people there for the same reason, so you never feel alone. The process is really quick and giving blood itself only takes around 15 minutes.


In addition to the campaign, I also experienced first hand how life changing giving blood is, and the reason why having more black donors is crucial.


A few years ago my mum needed an emergency exchange transfusion, blood that whilst matched her blood group, was unlikely to have come from a black donor, which resulted in her developing antibodies. This can be extremely dangerous and reduces the possibility of blood matches. But also if she develops any further antibodies, it could result in her not being able to have transfusions in an emergency situation in the future. This could also have nothing to do with sickle cell. For example, a road traffic accident.

Fortunately this was detected by my mums consultants, however she can no longer have automated transfusions.


Knowing that 1,000’s of black people every day are relying on black donors coming forward to donate regularly, and how few donors we have in comparison to the demand, I would encourage everyone who is able to, to register to become a blood donor and donate.

I am also a volunteer.

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