As the Rugby World Cup 2015 tournament kicks off tomorrow night at Twickenham, residents across Richmond are building up to the excitement and getting ready to show their support for their chosen rugby team.

Throughout the rugby world cup period, NHS Blood & Transplant is asking people to show their support, both on and off the pitch with #BleedForEngland – a new campaign which encourages as many new people as possible to register to give blood.

 

“We need people to support England not only through their love of sport, their passion and their dedication to their national team but in a way that makes a difference.”

#BleedForEngland campaign

 

Why Give Blood?

Blood has a very short shelf life which is why it’s so important for new donors to come forward all the time. Blood contains a number of vital life-saving components including platelets, plasma and red cells, all of which are used in a number of different ways for different purposes. Red cells help with the treatments of blood cancers, anaemia and burns. Plasma contains proteins which are vital to ensuring clotting to minimise blood loss and platelets help repair damaged body tissue. Plasma can last for to one year, Red cells up to 35 days and platelets only up to seven days.

As a result, the campaign is aiming to recruit 100,000 new blood donors to ensure there is enough supply of the different blood types for whenever a life-saving operation is required anywhere in England.

Ex-England rugby players, Jonny Wilkinson, Martin Johnson, Ben Kay, Matt Dawson and Jason Leonard have all given blood in the past. The video below shows them all talking about their experiences of becoming England rugby players and why giving blood is so important to them:

 

 

From 15th August – 31st October, when the final of the rugby world cup takes place, NHS Blood and Transplant will be running a live totaliser, updated on a daily basis which shows how many donors have registered and how close to their 100,000 target they are.

If you are aged between 17-65, you can help and become a huge part of the campaign by registering to become a donor. The process is quick and easy and once you have opened an on-line account, you will be able to:

  • Find out where you can donate and book an appointment
  • View, change or cancel your appointments
  • Update your personal details
  • View your recent donation history

So to use Martin Johnson’s quote, “Why On Earth Not?”

#BleedForEngland this Rugby World Cup season and help to save lives.