AMATEUR and professional runners across Wales are being called upon to become lifesaving blood donors through a new campaign from the Welsh Blood Service, Welsh Athletics and Run 4 Wales.
Through the ‘Giving Runs in Your Blood’ campaign, runners across Wales are being urged to support blood donation as part of their training programme and make a lifesaving difference to patients in need.
The new partnership will see blood, platelets and bone marrow donation promoted at a host of iconic events, including Run 4 Wales’ road running races and Welsh Athletics’ upcoming national championships.
Blood donations play a vital role in saving lives each day, with donations supporting a range of treatments from helping accident victims or patients with blood cancers to helping mothers and newborn babies during childbirth.
With well over 100 running clubs and 13,000 active members in Wales, it is hoped sign-ups from the running community will help the Welsh Blood Service meet the 350 blood donations it needs to collect every day to supply hospitals across the country.
To coincide with the campaign’s launch, runners can visit the Welsh Blood Service website to find a range of heart-shaped running routes spread across several Welsh cities and towns or create their very own routes to share.
Alan Prosser, Director at the Welsh Blood Service, said: “We’re thrilled to be working with Welsh Athletics and Run 4 Wales. They say you never regret going for a run and we know the same goes for giving blood which is why together, we hope to inspire runners across the country into becoming donors – helping us reach a new audience of potential lifesavers.
“With the Tokyo Olympics just around the corner, there has never been a better time to get behind this campaign. Whether you’re a seasoned runner or just digging your trainers out of the back of the cupboard, get involved by running our heart-shaped routes and coming along to your nearest blood donation session.”
James Williams, CEO of Welsh Athletics, said: “Welsh Athletics is delighted to become a community partner of the Welsh Blood Service and I’m sure our many clubs, running groups, and their members across Wales will be keen to support their vital work. As the largest participation sport in Wales, we can play our part in ensuring that more people sign up to make donations of lifesaving blood, platelet and bone marrow donations.”
Run 4 Wales Chief Executive, Matt Newman, also commented: “We’re passionate about the health and wellbeing of the nation, so we are naturally delighted to be working with the Welsh Blood Service on such an important campaign. We have some exciting activities planned and can’t wait to see the positive impact it will have on blood donation levels across the country.”
Giving blood is considered an essential service and donation sessions have continued across Wales throughout the pandemic with additional safety measures introduced to meet Welsh Government guidance.
Anyone aged between 17 and 66 can book their first donation online. A blood donation takes around 45 minutes in total, but for someone in need, that blood can last a lifetime.