Communities Unite at the Nishkam Centre to Change the Odds

Large crowds from diverse communities gathered at the Nishkam Centre to help respond to the shortage of Asian blood stem cells donors for people who desperately need lifesaving transplants. The 325 sign up was the sixth highest achievement to date for such an event for the appeal demonstrating the overwhelming support and community spirit.

The event hosted at the Nishkam Centre 25th March 2012, Handsworth Birmingham was a collaborative approach between the Nishkam Centre, Anthony Nolan Trust, Council of Sikh Gurudwara’ s (Birmingham) and the Rik Basra Campaign to help increase membership on the Anthony Nolan Trust register.

The initiative was organised due to the substantial shortage of Asian donors on the national and international donor register.

It was reported that not only are there far lower chance of finding a matching Asian donor for a potentially life-saving transplant than a Caucasian patient, we also have the highest number of people waiting for a match among all minorities.Birmingham’s communities and Nishkam staff and volunteers came out united in overwhelming numbers to change these odds.

Building on the momentum of a similar event in Leicester by the Rik Basara Campaign, this day was aimed at raising awareness of Leukaemia, addressing the lack of participation from the Asian community and encouraging members of the Asian community aged 18-40 year old to register with the Anthony Nolan Trust.

Speaking on the success of the event, Rik Basara commented: “I want to thank everyone that supported the day and most of all the individuals that took time out of their day to register.  I have absolutely no doubt the collective efforts of all those involved will save a life. It really is a great example of community self help in action.”

Ann O’Leary, Register & Be a Lifesaver Manager at Anthony Nolan, said: “Since October 2011, the recruitment of Asian donors to the Anthony Nolan register has increased by over 300% compared to the previous six months.  The Rik Basra Campaign has contributed significantly to this, adding over 1000 new donors through targeted recruitment events and many more through online applications via our website.

“It is important to Anthony Nolan to attract donors from different ethnic backgrounds to increase diversity within our register.  We have worked on a programme of recruitment events over the past year and are so pleased to have had the support of the Rik Basra Campaign.  We are very grateful to all the volunteers who helped to run this weekend’sBirminghamevent and to everyone who turned up to register on the day.”

 ENDS

Released by: Nishkam Centre

Telephone: 0121 515 4229

Email: info@ncauk.org

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