SFRS and Anthony Nolan Trust enjoy record-breaking year

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Despite the impact of COVID-19, more than 3700 new donors have been recruited.

A life-saving partnership between the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and the Anthony Nolan Trust has enjoyed a record-breaking year...despite the impact of COVID-19.

The partnership, which recently celebrated its eleventh anniversary, allows firefighters to engage young people on the benefits of joining the Anthony Nolan Trust to donate stem cells and give a patient with blood cancer a second chance of life.

Former SFRS Area Commander Ally Boyle initiated the partnership in 2009 after being diagnosed with blood cancer – and more than 18,000 potential lifesavers have since joined.

This year, a further 13,194 school pupils have been engaged and 65 recruitment events held.

From that, more than 3700 new donors have been recruited and 18 donations of stem cells have taken place.

All of this is despite COVID-19 meaning a host of engagement events were cancelled.

SFRS Head of Service Delivery for the North Service Delivery Area Andy Watt is the Chair of the partnership.

He said: "This year's annual report absolutely captures and showcases what has been another incredible and record-breaking year for our volunteers, even more remarkable given the fact it was cut short by almost four months due to COVID-19.

 "We’re absolutely determined to continue to educate school pupils about stem cell donation and give them the opportunity to join the register. We've had some very supportive messages from schools already, who are keen to work with the SFRS/Anthony Nolan Partnership to help us save lives despite the challenges presented by COVID-19.

"We now need to be ready with an alternative offer as it is unlikely we will be resuming our normal face-to-face activity for some time and we are working with Anthony Nolan to develop a process that will allow us to deliver virtual recruitment events."

For more on the collaboration between the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Anthony Nolan Trust visit click here

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