CLCH supports national NHS Blood and Transplant "Not Family But Blood" campaign

Published: 15th November 2022

CLCH supports NHS Blood and Transplant’s “Not Family But Blood” campaign to recruit more donors of Black heritage, and to raise awareness of sickle cell disease.

The ‘Not Family But Blood’ NHS campaign highlights that although the Black community is diverse, one unifying thing is the power to provide life changing blood donations.

If you're of Black African or Black Caribbean heritage, you're more likely to have an important blood type used to treat sickle cell.

Leteshia Abrahams-Dixon, Specialist Nurse Counsellor explains how the Wandsworth Haemoglobinopathy Service supports people with sickle cell disorder and thalassaemia:

“The Wandsworth Community Haemoglobinopathy Service is a nurse-led service based in the community. We provide services for adults, young people and children with sickle cell disorder and thalassaemia, and their families.

“Our service aims to support people with sickle cell disorder and thalassaemia with their health and wellbeing through education on self-care, to enable them to feel more in control of their condition.

“We work closely with the local hospital-based sickle cell and thalassaemia service, as well as GPs in the borough, to make sure people affected receive the best care.

“We also provide preconception counselling and screening to couples who are ready to start a family and health assessments for individuals to  help them understand how they are affected by their illness. We help people to put plans in place so they can lead as healthy a life as their condition allows. Additionally, we provide support around:

· issues impacting on education 

· social issues i.e., housing, welfare, work and employment

· discharge follow up

· compliance management

· psychological concerns"

Speaking about why it’s important for people of Black and mixed ethnicity background to donate blood, Leteshia said:

“It is important for people of Black and mixed ethnicity background to donate blood because it increases the chances of someone from the same ethnic background finding a suitable match if urgently needed. Patients from these ethnicities often wait longer for a successful match.

“Demand for blood donors from these ethnicities is growing as more patients have regular blood transfusions to treat their conditions, particularly sickle cell disorder.

“It is safe and easy to give blood and most people can do so if they’re fit and healthy. Why not visit your local Blood Donation Centre and make a difference!”

 Register to become a blood donor today and book an appointment by visiting, downloading the GiveBloodNHS app, or calling 0300 123 23 23.

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