New government funding totalling £600,000 has been announced to promote blood and organ donation amongst Black, Asian, mixed heritage or ethnic minority communities.
The funding aims to address the shortage of organs for those waiting for a transplant from all of these backgrounds, and the lack of Black blood donors whose blood is used to treat conditions like sickle cell disease.
The Community Investment Scheme is run by NHS Blood and Transplant, and will fund community and faith organisations to drive awareness, understanding and behaviour change.
While it has previously focused solely on promoting organ donation after death, now in its third year of the scheme, NHS Blood and Transplant is also looking for applications that will engage diverse communities on the issue of blood donation.
Organisations can apply for one of three funding bands:
- up to £2,499
- between £2,500 – £10,000
- between £10,001 and £20,000
This year, as part of the scheme, NHS Blood and Transplant is also launching the Community Engagement Leads initiative. This will work in conjunction with key community-based organisations across England to create grassroot networks to promote organ and blood donation.
NHS Blood and Transplant is requesting that applicants demonstrate consideration of the current uncertainty around Covid-19. Applications focused on a digital delivery are encouraged, while digital contingency planning will be expected for any face-to-face work.
Health Minister Lord Bethell said:
“This new funding will help organisations carry out vital work within local BAME communities by opening up and informing the conversation about organ and blood donation.
“Often a person’s best donor match will share their ethnicity, but too many donation opportunities are missed because families aren’t discussing the subject.
“We know when it comes to organ donation, these conversations save lives, which is why it is so important to help individuals make an informed decision and talk about it with their families.”
The application deadline is 5pm on 2 December 2020. Projects will need to be completed by 1 October 2022.
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