Thursday 1st October saw the Race Against Blood Cancer team host its first student donor registration drive at London Metropolitan University, as part of its Freshers Week celebrations.
This was the first of a number of university drives that are being held up and down the country over the next few months. On the day the Race Against Blood Cancer team were set up amongst the various societies and other companies in attendance. The drive itself was a big success with 48 new stem cell donors being registered, with many others joining the mailing list and expressing an interest in volunteering at similar drives in the future and hosting their own fundraising events.
Next week the team heads to Wolverhampton University for another student drive, before returning to London Metropolitan University to take part in an event that celebrates Black History month.
A massive thank you to all of those who came down on the day and also to Beverley Rizzotto and the London Metropolitan University for making this happen.
Alex Morrison, one of the co-founders of Race Against Blood Cancer caught up with Natasha Hinde from the Huffington Post.
Check out how Alex and the team were touched by the cancer diagnosis of a close friend and the ambition of Race Against Blood Cancer to give every blood cancer patient an equal chance of surviving, thanks to finding a potentially lifesaving donor match.
Last weekend among the feathers, dancing and blaring soca music, a team of Race Against Blood Cancer volunteers were in force with the Afro-Caribbean Leukemia Trust (ACLT) raising awareness and registering new stem cell donors at Notting Hill Carnival.
For those not familiar with Notting Hill Carnival, it is an annual event in the streets of west London in the UK that has been running since 1966. The event celebrates the heritage of London’s West Indian residents but has evolved to more widely celebrate London’s diversity and community.
Donors of Afro-Caribbean descent are significantly under-represented on registries around the world, resulting in a challenge for patients of this heritage to find a donor match. Notting Hill Carnival is one of the largest street parties outside of Rio with approximately 1 Million attendees each year, so what better place to find a diverse crowd of potential live savers!
The inspiring team at ACLT partnered with the Metropolitan Police and had 2 tents over the 2-day event where we could direct the revellers and get carnival-goers to sign up. 8 volunteers from Race Against Blood Cancer held awareness signs, donation buckets, engaged and educated the crowd with the ultimate goal of driving stem cell donor sign ups.
Other than being a lot of fun the carnival was a great success, Race Against Blood Cancer helped in achieving a total of 438 stem cell and bone marrow donors. This is a fantastic result and we thank all the volunteers that took to the streets with signs, whistles, and feathers to raise awareness and to help sign up a number of potential life savers.
The Race Against Blood Cancer team looks forward to supporting ACLT next year. We’ll be working on our dance moves until then!
On Tuesday 25th in London, the PHD team managed to register the most stem cell donors to the register in any one drive to date.
Despite the soggy weather in the midst of summer, Judy Chan and her team of volunteers were raring to go and focused on the number of people they wanted to get signed up.
Not that it was ever really in doubt given the passion and sheer professionalism of the team but the final count for the day set a new record, for any corporate drive to now try to beat – the team at PHD with support from Alex Morrison and Lucy Baumgartner managed to register 131 new stem cell donors in just 6 hours – 24 more than its sister agency OMD International had valiantly achieved just 6 weeks prior.
Alex and Lucy from Race Against Blood Cancer who were involved in the organisation and present at the event can’t stress enough how wonderful the whole team was and how they all fully embraced the task at hand, keeping the environment friendly, informative, while managing to remain light hearted throughout.
In addition to signing up a significant number of new stem cell donors, many of the volunteers asked to become regular volunteers for Race Against Blood Cancer, with some of them planning to join us at this weekend’s Notting Hill Carnival where Race Against Blood Cancer will be supporting the ACLT.
Race Against Blood Cancer would like to say a massive thank you to everyone at PHD for making us feel so welcome and also give a special shout out to Judy Chan, Catherine Aylward, Jennifer Fuller, Claire Hall, Rebecca Burchnall, Charmaine StJohn, Lucinda Leonard, Victoria Crabb, Rachel Robinson, Shannon Monson, Faye Razzak, Dipesh Pattni, Tom Blaza and Lauren Thompson for their support on the day itself. You were all amazing.
We can’t wait to come back next year and here’s hoping to better weather!
On August Bank holiday weekend, Race Against Blood Cancer is excited to be supporting the ACLT with volunteers to help drive donor registrations at the Notting Hill Carnival.
Known as one of the largest street festivals in the world and the biggest in Europe, the carnival has, since its start in 1966, grown to become a real icon of British culture. Originally calling on the British West Indian community the carnival has now become a key date for people from around the world to celebrate, making it a real hub of mixed cultures, ethnicities and fun.
Amid festive crowds, jerk chicken stalls and music stages, Race Against Blood Cancer will be present at the heart of the carnival from 12pm to 5pm on the corner of Lancaster Road and Ladbroke Grove.
This will be Race Against Blood Cancer’s first presence at the carnival and we look forward to supporting ACLT in what will hopefully become an annual presence to increase diversity on the donor register and help save lives.
Not knowing what to expect, it’s fair to say that Brixton Splash 2015 was a big success for the Race Against Blood Cancer.
A good turnout was never in doubt, with the annual festival having taken on an unofficial role as the warm up to Notting Hill carnival. However, if you listen to the surveys and feedback from previous events, it’s not known for being the best place to sign up new bone marrow or stem cell donors, with having a good time being the only thing on peoples mind.
We’re pleased to say that despite pessimistic forecasts, we were made to feel very welcome by all, as the team joined in the fun, breaking down a number of previously held myths. The day itself started slowly but that was the case for anyone with a stall. At one point we were stuck on 15 donor registrations for what felt like hours. While that’s 15 people whose lives might be saved, with every registration a significant milestone, the team had even bigger aspirations for the day.
Things really started to pick up when we proactively went into the crowd to engage with the public, geed up by Hayley and Alex taking to the stage to address the audience on mass, informing them of what we were doing and where to find us. From this the vibe changed and as a crowd started to form by our table, in typical British fashion, even more people started to queue, even though many of them didn’t know what for.
Overall the team had a fantastic time and the usual high level of enthusiasm that we’ve come to expect was in the perfect setting, with the energy from both young and old being consistently high, despite the sweltering heat. The hearty mix of Jerk Chicken, fresh lemonade and an abundance of Haribo on hand helped to keep everyone happy.
A special thanks goes out to today’s volunteers, from those who contributed a few hours to those who were there all day. The ethnic mix and age range of people who signed up to become a stem cell donor was a massive highlight, with the team signing up 81 potential life savers and just as importantly, spreading the word to hundreds more.
Also, a massive thank you to April for letting us use her shop and to Brixton Splash and in particular Shezal, who kindly accommodated us at the very last minute. Be warned, we plan to go even bigger next year after this year’s very successful trial run.
PS. Swab face is coming for you. Check out the pictures below.
With it’s explosion of culture and the general good vibes that are associated with Brixton Splash, the Race Against Blood Cancer team is excited to be part of this years celebration and will be on hand to raise awareness of the lack of diversity of the stem cell and bone marrow database and encourage those in attendance to take a few minutes out to register as a potentially life saving donor.
For those who have not experienced this unique festival which takes place on Sunday 2nd August, we really encourage you to come along to see what all the fuss is about. With a focus on supporting local talent with music styles including but not limited to Soul, Pop, Ska and Reggae through to dancehall and roots, along with an abundance of free workshops, activities, arts and crafts, there really is something for everyone.
If you’re in the area please stop by to say hello to the team. We’ll be located on 412 Coldharbour Lane and for anyone who wants to join our team of volunteers on the day it’s not too late. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Friday 10th July marked the private launch of Race Against Blood Cancer with the inaugural event a huge success.
96 golfers revelled in the Shropshire sunshine, as they took to the course to enjoy a round of 18 holes against the backdrop of the stunning countryside, with a healthy dose of rivalry and competition evident throughout the day.
Those who stayed on for the evening were not disappointed, as they were joined by close friends and family of those involved with the charity to take the numbers up to 260 on the night. Guests were treated to a 3 course meal and amongst the laughter and positive vibes, was a heartfelt speech from one of the cofounders who talked through the birth of the charity, resulting in one or two tears being shed.
Not to lose sight of the reason they were all there, an in-depth presentation was delivered by TalkSPORT’s Geoff Peters who kindly took a break from his summer holiday, to eloquently deliver a number of key points that truly inspired all those in attendance to take action.
The feedback on the night and since has been incredible with the team overwhelmed with offers of support. Crucially, 84 new donors were registered on the evening to add to the 108 that were signed up at the OMD donor registration drive early that week and many more people having registered via the website since. Additionally, over £12k was raised that will have a big impact on the team’s ability to further raise awareness and sign up new life-saving donors.
A massive thanks to all those that attended the event, along with those who supported from far.
On Tuesday 7th July, Race Against Blood Cancer ran its first ever Donor Registration Drive in partnership with OMD, a global media communications agency, in what is to become a series of drives across the agency’s local and global network.
Generally known as an industry full of loud, audacious young individuals who never back down from a good advertising deal, the media world took second place at OMD King’s Cross on Tuesday where staff decided to help save a life “for the cheek of it”.
Joining forces with Delete Blood Cancer UK, the official charity that recruits potential blood stem cell donors, Race Against Blood Cancer & OMD managed to register 108 new donors to the registry, setting a high benchmark for its sister agencies around the world and a stepping stone for Race Against Blood Cancer.
As Chloe Hawking, director at OMD and representative of Race Against Blood Cancer told trade press “The more diverse someone’s ethnicity, the more difficult it is to find a match. London is such a melting pot of ethnicities so we are hoping our efforts can increase every patient’s chance of finding a match. This OMD office was an obvious choice for a donor drive – due to its international focus and recruitment approach, there are over 300 staff with 30 nationalities, making the team an ideal group of potential donors.”
Race Against Blood Cancer is immensely proud of this first Corporate Donor Registration Drive and is looking forward to working with OMD and Delete Blood Cancer to continue this great work!
On Friday 10th July, The Shropshire Golf club will host 100 golfers in the day and 250 guests in the evening, for the private launch of Race Against Blood Cancer.
The event is invitation only and is being attended by close friends and family of the team involved with setting it up. As part of the evening’s entertainment is a DJ, live singer, silent auction and quiz with some great prizes on offer.
The team will also look to use the opportunity to raise awareness of the shortage of stem cell and bone marrow donors from various ethnic groups and to encourage those in attendance to register on the night as a potential donor. A huge thanks to everyone who has helped with the planning of the event, in particular Joe Bates for leading the charge & Matt Lea for organising the golf day.
Please keep a look out for the photos and an update on how it all goes.