Unilad's Illegal Blood Bank
23rd November 2019
It is illegal for sexually active gay & bi men to donate blood in the UK. Unilad has teamed up with Freedom To Donate
Every year the blood banks need 135,000 new donors to match demand and replace those who no longer can donate. NHS Blood state they need 30,000 more O-negative blood type donors every year. The UK regularly gets low on stocks for blood. If everyone gave blood - we’d be fine right ... but we can’t. At current, sexually active gay and bi men CANNOT donate their blood, even if their blood is healthy and fit for use.
Unilad and The Research Donors have teamed up to produce a unique campaign to tackle this ruling. There are thousands of fit, healthy and sexually safe sexually active gay and bi men who’s blood is simply being denied. The campaign sets out to show an assessment process that is focused on the individual's lifestyle habits rather than their sexual orientation ruling that prevents men from having sex.
I’m the founder of creative agency and web design agency Charle, based in London. As a proud gay man, when I heard what unilad were doing - I just had to be involved. On Saturday 23rd November - I donated a pint or my “gay” blood to the campaign. Although my primary job is a digital creative, I am also a registered UK paramedic - I’ve seen first hand the need for blood - it’s painful for me not be able to donate & help save lives. I have healthy blood, I'm O negative (rare blood type) yet still my blood is wasted.
A donation of your blood is a low impact way to save lives. Giving less than an hour of your time to donate, could save a mother, a father, a child, a friend, a nurse, a doctor, a sibling and a human’s life. If you can give blood please do. I am so proud to be involved in a marketing initiative on a mission to allow men like me to donate theirs. The donation I gave will not be given to someone who needs it - even if the tests show it's healthy. I hope this digital and marketing campaign challenges government to stop wasting blood.
Here is a key example of how the power of marketing can change lives. Let’s hope for a productive outcome. The campaign has attracted large amounts of celebrity attention, major media companies and even prompted the NHS to respond! Keep up the good work Unilad!
You can find out more here on Freedom to Donate's website.