Blood the Lifeline: NHS Calls on Gen Z and Millennials to Save Lives


The NHS is sending out an urgent plea for more blood donors from Generation Z and millennials. The statistics show that over half of the blood donors in the southwest region are aged 45 and above, highlighting the need for younger generations to step up and join the cause.

With the highest percentage of elderly blood donors in England, the southwest is in desperate need of a more diverse donor pool to ensure a sustainable supply of blood for those in need. According to data provided by NHS Blood and Transplant, located in Filton, Bristol, 56% of regular blood donors are over the age of 45, marking a 4% increase over the past five years. Conversely, the percentage of donors aged 17 to 24 has decreased by half during the same period.

Millennials, also known as the generation born between 1981 and 1996, and Gen Z, born between 1996 and 2010, are the target population for the new blood donation initiative by NHS Blood and Transplant. The aim is to engage young people, particularly those of African descent, as they are more likely to possess the blood type necessary for treating sickle cell anemia, the fastest-growing hereditary blood disorder in the UK.

Tami Aderonmu, a 19-year-old student at the University of Bristol, recently became a “donor for life” after donating blood for the first time just before Christmas. Despite her initial apprehension due to a fear of needles, Ms. Aderonmu found the experience to be rewarding when she discovered that she had the blood type needed for sickle cell patients.

“My mum, a doctor, has emphasized the importance of ethnically matched blood for treating sickle cell,” she shared. Having lost loved ones to the disease, Ms. Aderonmu feels a deep sense of purpose in knowing that her blood donation can potentially help others battling the illness.

Dr. Jo Farrar, the chief executive of NHS Blood and Transplant, emphasized the critical role that young people can play in saving lives through blood donation. With blood having a short shelf life, the need for a continuous supply of donations is crucial to meet the demands of patients in need of transfusions.

“Given that the number of donors over 45 has surpassed those under for the first time in five years, it is more important than ever for younger individuals to step up and become lifesavers by donating blood,” Dr. Farrar stated. By actively engaging millennials and Gen Z in the donation process, the NHS hopes to create a sustainable and diverse donor base that can meet the evolving healthcare needs of the population.

In conclusion, the call for blood donors from Generation Z and millennials is a crucial step in ensuring the availability of lifesaving blood products for patients across the southwest. By encouraging young people to donate, the NHS is not only addressing the current imbalance in donor demographics but also setting the stage for a more inclusive and sustainable blood donation system that can meet the diverse healthcare needs of the community. Whether it’s supporting individuals with sickle cell anemia or providing emergency transfusions, every donation counts and has the potential to save lives. Join the cause, become a blood donor, and make a difference in the lives of those in need.