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30 March 2017

SP Supports the Freedom to Donate Campaign

Our Managing Director Steve Bray says he was honoured when Ethan Spibey, Founder of FreedonToDonate asked him to be a Patron of this important health and equality campaign.

Steve says "I have always been a blood donor, as soon as the NHS would let me sign up, I was there giving them my pint of O Negative. I guess being very much involved in healthcare since an early age meant it was a very natural thing for me and my friends to do. But imagine my dissapointment when I came out as gay in 2011 and was then told that I would no longer be able to donate my blood. In early 2016 I heard about the Freedom To Donate campaign and without hesitation signed the petition page at change.org. After exchanging a few tweets and emails with Ethan about the campaign, I then met him and his team at their offices in central London. Before I knew it, he had persuaded me to come on board as a Patron; not that I needed much persuading as this is a campaign I really want to get my teeth into".

Here is a little background info about the FreedonToDonate campaign.

Our Work
FreedomToDonate is a growing and passionate team of volunteers with political, campaign and PR backgrounds. We are supported by the National AIDS Trust and work alongside other National LGBT and HIV charities such as Stonewall to raise awareness of the current regulations on blood donation, and to guide the ongoing review into who can safely donate blood.

Long Term Goal
In November 2015 in the House of Commons in answer to a question on the campaign, the Public Health Minister, Jane Ellison MP announced a review by the Government’s advisory committee, the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs (SaBTO) into the deferral criteria for blood donation. Our long term goal is to end the current 12 month deferral period for Men who have had Sex with Men (MSM) and the blanket ban on anyone who has ever had sex for money or drugs or ever in- jected drugs.

Short Term Goals
Our short term aims are primarily to raise awareness of the current regulations and to apply Parliamentary and public pressure to ensure the best possible outcome of the announced review. To do this, we will be undertaking a range of third party stake- holder engagement and will be working closely with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Blood Donation, for which the campaign is the Secretariat.

Please sign the petition to contribute your voice to this campaign, it takes less than a minute and could help save many more lives. Click HERE



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