Black Christian leaders have joined an NHS campaign to highlight the need for more Black blood and organ donors.
The Give Hope campaign this Easter wants to see members of the Black Christian community registering as donors and sharing the decision with their families to encourage them to follow suit.
Among those supporting the NHS Blood and Transplant’s campaign is Bishop Dexter Edmund of Bethel Church UK. He told Premier donating during this period has a special meaning.
“Giving and receiving is an essential ethos of our faith, and especially at this time of the year when our focus is on the death, burial and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
“The whole idea [is] that he gave his life for the world, you know, For God so loved the world that He gave, and that is a central part of our faith and the gift of life.
“I think it's just a beautiful act of kindness and giving and the extension of life in this earth,” Bishop Dexter said.
According to the NHS, donors of Black heritage are ten times more likely to have the blood type needed to treat sickle cell disease, a blood disorder more common among those of Black ethnicity.
As part of the treatment for sickle cell disease, patients need regular blood transfusions to help treat and prevent symptoms such as strokes and loss of vision.
Geraldine Parker, National BAME Marketing Manager at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We know that Christians are motivated by compassion and mercy. By sharing this vital message at Easter, a time of love, hope, reflection, life and resurrection, and with the valued support of church leaders, we hope more people in the Black Christian community will be inspired to become blood and organ donors and give hope to others.
“Giving blood is safe, quick and easy. Blood donation is classed as essential travel during coronavirus restrictions and all sessions have extra safety measures in place.”
Bishop Dexter wants to encourage people to pray and raise awareness about the need for more donors to come forward.
“[Pray] that the Lord would just bind us together as a community in that we will help one another. I think this campaign is very much a part of that.”
To register to become a donor, click here.