More people of African, Caribbean and mixed ethnicity are needed to come forward as organ and blood donors.
Black Christian organisations are calling on people of colour to come forward this Easter to provide life-saving blood for those in need.
Faith leaders from 30 church organisations across the country are joining with NHS Blood and Transplant to support the 2022 ‘Give Hope This Easter’ campaign.
It comes ahead of a summit of Black faith leaders in London on Tuesday April 19 to discuss ways to raise awareness of the need for more donors.
A recent survey found that 39.5% of black, Asian, mixed heritage or minority ethnic families agreed to support donation going ahead, compared to 69% of families from white backgrounds.
When asked, the majority of these families said they didn’t know what their relative would have wanted or that they didn’t feel they knew enough about organ donation.
Some were unsure about how organ donation fitted with their faith and beliefs.
The campaign has been backed by Bishop Mark Nicholson, from ACTS Christian Ministries, Croydon, gospel singer and host of Premier Radio Muyiwa Olarewaju, and Paul Rochester, general secretary of the Free Churches Group.
Bishop Mark has been giving blood since the 1980s but it was only recently realised he had the rare yet highly in demand Ro blood type that is most often needed by people with Sickle Cell disease.
He said: “It was an amazing feeling to know I had this important blood sub-type Ro … to know that I can do this one simple thing to help save lives in the Black African and Caribbean community was incredible.”
Paul Rochester, general secretary of the Free Churches Group, encouraged people from these sought-after communities to talk about organ donation with their families this Easter and share their decision with them.
Muyiwa Olarewaju is giving support for organ and blood donation in a series of social media videos. He said: “I never want to live with the thought that I could have done more to help, to save someone in need. Love always gives.”