NHS deploys 'yarnbombing' campaign to tackle shortage of young blood donors

Thousands of knitted red blood drops are being left in prominent public spaces such as the Tony Hancock statue in Birmingham in a novel campaign by the NHS to encourage 17-24 year-olds to donate blood.

Knitted blood drops hanging from a tree in Sheffield
Knitted blood drops hanging from a tree in Sheffield

In total, more than 8,000 of the striking decorations have been specially created by volunteer knitters and supporters, who were asked to give up their time to ‘knit one, save one’.

They have been left at train stations, on tree branches and in shopping arcades to raise awareness because the number of 17-24 year-olds signing up to give blood has fallen significantly in recent years, according to the NHS.

The adorning of prominent buildings and places with knitted objects has been dubbed ‘yarnbombing’ – a form of street art used to raise awareness of an issue or promote a cause.

Young donors are important as they are needed to replace those who can no longer donate each year for reasons such as illness or pregnancy.

Staff from NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) will hang thousands of the objects in public places over the coming month, including branches on trees to indicate that blood doesn’t grow on trees.

The campaign will be promoted across social media platforms and aims to link in with the expanding number of younger knitting enthusiasts, who share tips, pictures and patterns on social media.

The original blood drop design was created by Rebecca Willis (known as Granny Willis), an 18-year-old A level student who has a strong personal reason for supporting blood donation.

Willis said: "When I was approached to help with the campaign it felt like fate, because earlier in the year my grandfather’s life was saved by a blood transfusion after he was rushed into hospital with kidney failure, and the outlook appeared bleak. I could not believe the opportunity that I had been given to be able to help, and give back to such a worthy cause."

 

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Articles

John Lewis to tell brand story with "tasteful" 150th anniversary celebrations

John Lewis to tell brand story with "tasteful" 150th anniversary celebrations

Department store John Lewis is to use its 150th anniversary this year to talk about its history, which "not enough people know about", according to director of communications Peter Cross.

Labour hires Obama election strategist David Axelrod to fight General Election

Labour hires Obama election strategist David Axelrod to fight General Election

The man who helped Barack Obama win the 2008 and 2012 US presidential elections is to work for Labour along with members of his team.

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Pay-TV giant Sky has added Fever PR to its agency line-up for a wide-ranging brief covering products and services.

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

The jury in the trial of celebrity publicist Max Clifford has been sent home for Easter and will reconvene on Tuesday for further deliberations about its verdicts on 11 charges of indecent assault.

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

The Home Office has tasked Munro & Forster (M&F) with supporting its campaign to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) as part of a wider retained brief.