UK charity’s record bid for blood donors aims to save 150,000 lives

The world record attempt #GlobalBloodHeroes, organized by Muslim social justice charity Who Is Hussain?, aims to save 150,000 lives around the world (Who Is Hussain?/PA)

The world record attempt #GlobalBloodHeroes, organized by Muslim social justice charity Who Is Hussain?, aims to save 150,000 lives around the world (Who Is Hussain?/PA)

A British charity trying to set a world record for the most blood donations in one day said donating blood is one of the “easiest and best things” a person could do.

The record #GlobalBloodHeroes application launched by Muslim social justice charity Who Is Hussain? Organized in partnership with NHS Blood and Transplant, aims to save 150,000 lives around the world.

Donors from 350 health centers in 23 countries came together to donate blood on Saturday.

Participating UK locations included London, Leeds, Birmingham, Luton, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.

Staff and donors who donated blood at a center in Tooting, south east London.  (Who is Hussain/PA)

Staff and donors who donated blood at a center in Tooting, south east London. (Who is Hussain/PA)

Who is Hussain? Trustee Mohamedali Gokal told the PA news agency: “It’s one of the easiest and best things to do.

“So many people, myself included, have a slight fear of needles, which is actually normal, but it’s just a small prick and after that it doesn’t hurt at all.

“There are trained phlebotomists and clinical nurses there all the time, and you just sit for a few minutes and that’s it.

“Just by doing that, by giving up even a few minutes, you could save three lives. It’s incredible.”

Who Is Hussain?, a charity registered in England and Wales, was founded in 2012 and has teams in 60 cities around the world.

According to the charity, one in four blood donors in England was a first-time blood donor as part of the Saturday campaign.

Carl Etherington, from Castleford, West Yorkshire, donated blood during Saturday’s campaign and said the atmosphere at the donor center was “brilliant”.

The 33-year-old told PA: “It’s a great thing.

“I watched the charity video last night and while I may have a different background (than the recipient), blood is blood.

“The more you donate, the more lives will be saved. Regardless of your background, you must try to contribute to society.”

Carl Etherington, from Castleford, West Yorkshire, donated blood during Saturday's campaign and said the atmosphere at the donor center was

Carl Etherington, from Castleford, West Yorkshire, donated blood during Saturday’s campaign and said the atmosphere at the donor center was “brilliant”. (Who is Hussain/PA)

The current world record is 35,000 blood donations in a single day, set in India in 2020.

A single blood donation yields a unit or pint, which is one-tenth the body’s total and is quickly replaced.

Who is Hussain? hopes his world record bid will raise awareness among ethnic minority communities where blood donation rates are low.

A regular donor named Laurence took part in the #GlobalBloodHeroes campaign by donating blood at a center in Tooting, south London.

He told PA: “I’m grateful that the news is getting out.

“I’m a little bit personally proud because they treat me as a first responder because my blood is O negative and that means anyone can have my blood.

“That’s why it’s carried on ambulance planes and needed in maternity wards when a newborn’s blood type is unknown.

“When you donate blood, it’s the staff who actually do all the work. All you have to do is keep yourself healthy.”

Over the next few days, blood organizations around the world will confirm how many #GlobalBloodHeroes donors have participated in their respective countries.

The final total is then verified by leading verification body Official World Records.

To learn more about the charity and to sign up to donate blood, visit: blood.whoishussain.org

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