UK is A-OK

UK is A-OK

You may have heard that we’ve changed the rules for UK donors. Those who’ve spent more than 6 months in the UK between 1980 and 1996 are now eligible to donate blood, and they’re keen as mustard.

Learn more about the research and science behind this change here  

The great British take-off

Within weeks of making the change, we welcomed more than 18,500 people who had previously been ineligible to donate. Almost 5,000 of those new donors visited Lifeblood in the first week of being eligible, making up nearly 65% of all the people we met that week.

The first week after making the change was Lifeblood’s second highest on record for appointment bookings, and one of our biggest weeks in recent years for welcoming new donors into the fold.

Thanks to all those eager UK teamsters, we had our third-highest week for blood donations in at least four years, which means thousands of lives have been saved by your generous donations. 

All places great and small

Australia has sometimes been referred to as ‘Little Britain’, but no state embodied that more than Western Australia, thanks to the highest rate of UK-born population. We expected to welcome a lot of first-time donors in WA, and we weren’t disappointed.

woman wearing a UK themed blazer holding up a sign that says 'my 1st blood donation' sitting in the donor chair and man wearing a UK themed vest donating blood

All of the states brought in record numbers of donations, but it was in WA where we saw the bar lifted furthest from their usual weekly numbers. The Sandgropers’ outsized contribution continued over following weeks. In the first week where new donor appointments quadrupled their average volume across Australia, WA welcomed more than eight times their usual number of new donor appointments.

The Who

Our record-breaking new donors in the first week were a different demographic than we usually meet in such high numbers. Not only were they more likely to come from WA, they were also a different age bracket to who we’d usually expect to see filling the donor chairs. 

Last year 68% of our new donors were under 40. In the first week of welcoming this cohort, just 35% of the newbies were aged under 40. As we’ve moved through the weeks since eligibility changed, new blood donors under 40 still make up less than half of all those coming in to donate for the first time. Special mention goes out to our female donors aged 50-59, who’ve been the single-largest demographic cohort since eligibility changed.

So if you’re noticing an impact on your local tea supply, there’s a small chance it’s due to all the cuppas our new donors are enjoying in the Donor Centres after their blood donations. If you’ve yet to book yourself in, just click here to make your appointment – we’ll supply the tea and biccies.