As we potter about our daily lives it’s not always at the forefront of our minds that something might strike us down at any given moment or that an undiscovered illness may just suddenly become discovered and some serious medical attention will be necessary. This is not a bad thing because otherwise no-one would get anything done and we’d all be nervous wrecks. But these things do happen and as such about 8,000 blood transfusions take place in England every day. Thank goodness then for the good old NHS and blood donation.
As with every area of the NHS, there are blood shortages because people don’t fret and therefore it’s easy to not get around to it, put off, or forget to donate blood. In particular the NHS has a shortage of black and Asian blood; a large number of black and minority ethnic (BME) patients have a rare blood group and rely on others with the same blood group to donate. Conditions like sickle cell anaemia and thalassaemia major are prevalent within the Black and Asian community and sufferers often require regular blood transfusions to stay alive. With less than 4% of all blood being donated by people from BME backgrounds, it’s vital that more donors come forward.
To help with the cause, NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) are looking for aspiring filmmakers to take part in a competition to help promote blood donation amongst BME communities. Working with Don Ebony Productions Ltd they are putting a call out to filmmakers and directors to produce a short film of four minutes to encourage people from an ethnic background to give blood and help save lives.
The short film will show the positive aspects of BME donation and the winner will be entered into the New Element Music and Film Festival (NEMFFEST) on the Saturday 29 September at the Royal Albert in Hall - an event which discovers and promotes hidden talent in film and music.
So get your thinking caps on and your eye to the viewfinder to be in with a chance of getting your work shown at a film festival and to help get an important message out in our community. The closing date for submissions is Sunday 16 September. Contact Anna Kerr @ nhsbt.nhs.uk for full details of the brief and how to enter. Oh, and if you don’t know your pan from your boom shot then you can still help by giving blood.