A film-maker from creative agency Purpose Media is undertaking a charity challenge with a twist later this month… asking his supporters to donate blood instead of cash.
John Starkie, Head of Video at the Derbyshire marketing firm, will be taking part in the Munich Marathon with lifelong friend Terry Moore, in support of the NHS’ Give Blood campaign.
But rather than try to raise cash during their sponsored run on 14 October, John and Terry are instead aiming to encourage 26 people – one person for every gruelling mile of the marathon – to give blood for the first time
Donated blood is used in hospitals across the UK to help treat patients with a range of illnesses and conditions and those who have suffered life-threatening injuries or trauma.
Around 900,000 people across the UK gave blood in 2017, but the NHS’ Blood and Transplant team estimates it needs to attract around 200,000 new donors every year to keep up with demand for supplies.
The friends hope to encourage as many people as possible to support their challenge and give blood, and plan to wear the names of the first 26 people who sign up to support them on their running shirts on the day.
To start them off, several of John’s Purpose Media colleagues have pledged to give blood and are arranging a visit from a mobile donation unit to the firm’s offices on The Village Business Park, in South Normanton.
This is not the first charity challenge John and Terry have undertaken – in the past couple of years, they’ve done a coast-to-coast bike ride and the Three Peaks Challenge, and next year plan to swim the Solent.
John said: “We normally do an annual charity challenge, but this year Terry had the idea to do something a bit different to a normal sponsored event and try to find a more unusual way to support a good cause.
“This time, it’s not about raising money, it’s about raising awareness of the importance of giving blood and, crucially, encouraging people to donate blood for the first time, as it can make a life-saving difference to those who need it.
“We’ve both had personal experience of friends and family who’ve needed blood transfusions in the past, which wouldn’t have been possible were it not for the thousands of people who give blood every year to ensure our blood supplied don’t run know and there’s enough there for the people who really need it.
“This challenge is all about making more people aware of the importance of giving blood and, crucially, actually doing so, because every pint donated makes a difference.”