NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) has introduced its inaugural festive social media video to encourage individuals to donate blood this winter. Filmed at Bradford Donor Centre, the video captures a holiday-themed blood donation session, portraying donors contributing blood and enjoying post-donation refreshments. Accompanied by a poem urging people to ‘give a gift that matters and show them that you care,’ the video emphasises that giving blood is the most significant gift one can offer this year.

During this season, marked by colder weather and an increase in seasonal illnesses, blood donations may slip from people’s priorities, resulting in a surge in appointment cancellations. The NHS urges donors to assist by scheduling and adhering to their upcoming appointments to bolster blood stocks in preparation for the challenging winter period.

Laura Wood, Bradford Donor Centre Manager, said: “We were delighted to be chosen as the location for NHS Blood and Transplant’s first ever festive social media-led initiative for blood donation, produced entirely in-house and brought to life by both donor centre staff and volunteers from the wider organisation who came to Bradford to create the video in their own time and for free.

“Donating blood is a way of giving a special life-saving gift that only costs an hour of your time. We’re encouraging the people of Bradford to consider giving the greatest Secret Santa gift of all this year, as each blood donation can help to save or improve up to three lives!

“There is a particular need for more O negative blood donors at the moment, but donors of all types are encouraged to book. If you can’t get an appointment straight away, please do book in the coming weeks and months as you will still be saving lives.

“We understand that sometimes donors need to cancel due to illness or changes of plans, so we ask for at least three days’ notice if you need to cancel so the place can be offered to another donor. Donor and staff safety is our priority so if you are under the weather, please rest, recover, and rebook.”

Free and discounted parking options are available for blood donors in Bradford. Forster Square Retail Park provides up to three hours of free parking, and at Broadway Shopping Centre, donors receive a 50% parking discount, with ticket validation at the donor centre.

Blood is essential for treating patients with cancer, blood disorders, and those undergoing medical trauma or surgery. Individuals interested in contributing can register and book appointments at blood.co.uk, via the GiveBloodNHS app, or by calling 0300 123 23 23.