17 July 2020
● NCS partners with the NHS to ask teens to register to donate a pint of
blood at a local donation session, as adults fill pubs for their first pint
● The NHS relies on 135,000 new donors a year and needs more young
people to ensure the right mix of blood groups
● ‘My First Pint’ is part of the ‘One Million Hours of Doing Good’ initiative
launched by NCS in June
As thousands of people head to pubs this month as they reopen, NCS (National
Citizen Service) is encouraging teens aged 16 or over to register to donate their
‘first pint’ - a pint of blood once they turn 17.
Launched in partnership with NHS Blood and Transplant, ‘My First Pint’ is part of
the NCS ‘One Million Hours of Doing Good’ initiative aiming to boost blood
donations from young people across the country to help get the right mix of
people giving blood. Teenagers will be encouraged to make a donation, safe in
the knowledge that their contribution will make a real impact to ensure the
long-term supply of blood. With young people currently making up the highest
proportion of blood donors, NHS Blood and Transplant wants them to continue
leading the way and keep saving lives to help ensure donors for the future.
With the NHS relying on around 135,0001 new donors a year, the initiative highlights the need for new donors to come forward to match patient needs in
More black donors are also urgently needed because they are more likely to have
the blood types needed by black patients in need. While a new generation of
young black Britons are regularly donating, more black blood donors are still
needed. An additional 40,0002 black donors are needed over the next three years3 .
Black people are ten times more likely than white people to have the vitally
important Ro blood subtype, which is vital for treating sickle cell disease, yet only around 1.5% of current blood donors are black. ‘My First Pint’ aims to show teens aged 16 or over how they can become part of the solution.
Mark Gifford, NCS Chief Executive, says: “During lockdown, we’ve seen the
nation really come together and collectively show their support for the NHS. We
want to maintain this momentum and ask less vulnerable teenagers across the
country to keep doing good by donating their first pint of blood while potentially
saving a life in the process. Teenagers are ready to play a part in rebuilding their
local communities and want to help reshape the future post-COVID – this is just
one of the many ways they can show their commitment to our ‘One Million Hours
of Doing Good’ initiative and demonstrate a ‘No We Can’ attitude.”
Mike Stredder, Director of Blood Donation at NHS Blood and Transplant says:
“We need 400 people to register as new donors every day to maintain the blood
supply, for the best chance of keeping hearts pumping. For many reasons it’s
vital that young people continue to register and donate – particularly young men
and black people – not least because older people become less likely to be able
to donate blood.
Please do something amazing and register to give blood now to start saving
lives, especially if you live or work near to one of our donor centres"
As part of the NCS ‘My First Pint’ initiative teens can register on the NHS ‘Give
Blood’ website where they can make an appointment to donate. Registration is
open to teens as soon as they turn 16, with the opportunity to donate from their
17th birthday. Donation slots are available five months following registration, and
there is advice on how to give blood during Covid-19. Extra safety measures are in
place on session to keep donors and staff safe at this time.
‘My First Pint’ is part of NCS’s ‘One Million Hours of Doing Good,’ a wider pledge to
enable up to one million hours for teens to take an active role in helping the
country recover post Covid-19.
1 Why give blood (Give blood)
2 Why give blood (Give blood)
3 Giving blood - Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities (Give blood)
For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
About National Citizen Service [NCS]
NCS is an experience like no other. Designed for 16-17 year olds across England and
Northern Ireland, NCS is a youth programme that runs every summer and autumn,
during school holidays. Teens get the opportunity to mix with a new crowd, live away
from home for a while, take on new challenges and in the process build lifelong
The programme is all about emboldening young people – by giving them a taste of
independence and equipping them with essential skills for life. NCSers then get a
chance to take these new-found skills for a test-run in their local community.
NCS is dedicated to providing a platform to make sure young people are heard and
can engage with their community by completing passion projects, raising awareness
and providing solutions to the issues they care about.
The experience might last just a few weeks, but the impact? That lasts a lot longer.
Since 2009 nearly 600,000 young people have taken part in NCS, completing over 14.5
million hours of community action, and gaining priceless life experiences.
NCS costs no more than £50 - with bursaries and support for those with special
educational needs or disabilities also available. NCS’s mission is to give every young
person the life-changing experience.
About NCS Trust
National Citizen Service Trust is an Arm's Length Body of DCMS incorporated by Royal
Charter and established to shape, support, champion and lead a thriving National
National Citizen Service Trust is registered in England and Wales with Royal Charter
Body number RC000894. Our registered office is at The Pembroke Building,
Kensington Village, Avonmore Road, London, W14 8DG.
About NHS Blood and Transplant:
● NHS Blood and Transplant is a joint England and Wales Special Health
Authority. We provide the blood donation service for England and the organ
donation service for the UK. We also provide donated tissues, stem cells and
cord blood. We are an essential part of the NHS, saving and improving lives
through public donation.
● It is quick and easy to book an appointment to give blood. Call 0300 123 23 23
or visit www.blood.co.uk
● NHSBT has 23 permanent donor centres in London (Tooting, Edgware, West
End) Manchester (Plymouth Grove and Norfolk House), Cambridge, Luton,
Nottingham, Sheffield, Leicester, Bradford, Leeds, Newcastle, Lancaster,
Liverpool, Stoke, Birmingham, Bristol, Gloucester, Oxford, Southampton, Poole
and Plymouth. Our mobile teams also collect blood at community venues such
as church halls around the country.
● NHS Blood and Transplant needs to collect 1.4 million units of blood each year
to meet the needs of patients across England.
● There are four main blood groups – O, A, B and AB. O negative (the universal
blood group) and B negative are particularly vulnerable to shortfalls. So, we
want people with those blood groups to donate as regularly as they can.
● The overall demand for blood is falling by 3-4% per year due to improvements
in clinical practice and our work with hospitals to ensure blood is used
appropriately for patients.
● We need 135,000 new blood donors each year to replace those who stop
donating and to ensure we have the right mix of blood groups to match
patient needs in the future
● We urgently need more black donors as they are more likely to have the blood
type needed to treat the increasing number of patients suffering from sickle
● There is an urgent need for donors with Ro blood. Only 2% of our donors have
Ro type blood. Collecting enough is a constant challenge. Ro is often used to
save people with the rare blood disorder, sickle cell disease. Ro blood is ten
times more common in black people than in white people