Rice For Life 2017

Laila’s fourth Rice for Life campaign launches this month, as we team up with NHS Blood and Transplant to highlight an urgent need for more blood donors from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.

With fewer than 5% of England’s blood donations coming from people of BAME heritage – despite these communities now making up 14% of the UK population – patients of BAME heritage are experiencing a health inequality which only ethnic communities themselves can redress.

Among the Top 10 UK rice brands, Laila is a clear favourite with the UK’s ethnic communities. It is this unique and special relationship that has inspired our latest ‘Rice for Life’ campaign – aimed at encouraging more people to become regular donors.

Sickle Cell or Thalassaemia patients are likely to be from Black or South Asian/Arab communities respectively. These patients need transfusions on such a regular basis it is vitally important that their blood is as well matched as possible – as this offers the best possible health outcomes in the long run. The best way to achieve this match is to use blood from a similar ethnic background – however, there currently aren’t enough donors to make this possible.

NHSBT needs just under 200,000 new donors to attend a session to give blood this year and there is a particular need to attract more younger donors (from 17 years old) and people from South Asian, Arab and black communities. Currently, only one per cent of people who have given blood in England in the last 12 months come from black communities and only two per cent come from South Asian or mixed race communities. Less than 1 per cent come from the Arab community.

Ian Trenholm Chief Executive of NHS Blood and Transplant said: “It is imperative that we increase awareness of the need for more donors of BAME heritage, particularly as blood from BAME heritage is more likely to be a rare type.

“There is demand for lifesaving blood and platelets 365 days a year, it doesn’t stop for the Christmas period. Many children and adults will need transfusions over the festive period, for example as treatment for a blood condition or cancer or due to surgery, childbirth or an accident.

“With the winter weather, rise in colds and bugs, travelling and people getting busy, giving blood can slip off to-do lists. Around a third of our appointments remain unbooked in December. Over the festive season around 24,000 appointments to give blood are also missed. It’s really important that donors who can give blood and platelets do so. Today our message is simple – please make and keep an appointment and you could help save or improve up to three lives.”

This month we are helping NHS Blood and Transplant with their mission to enlist more donors by raising awareness of the urgent need for more people of BAME heritage to donate.

It only takes one hour to save up to three lives!

Do something amazing today – Give Blood!
Did you know?

DID YOU KNOW? In the time it takes to cook Laila rice you could have donated blood and helped save up to three lives. While the process of giving blood generally takes around one hour out of your day, the donation itself only takes about 5 – 10 minutes!

Register and Donate

It’s really easy to register and to book an appointment to donate. You can go online or download the NHS Give Blood app. For more information click here

Harry Dulai, MD of Surya Foods, owners of the Laila brand said:

“We are delighted to have been singled out by NHS Blood and Transplant to help raise awareness of this important issue due to our special relationship with the UK’s BAME communities through our leading brands.

“Given the strength of the Laila Basmati rice brand, Surya’s support is an excellent way to raise awareness among the BAME communities we serve, through a trusted brand and we truly hope our efforts will translate into a significant uplift in the numbers donating from these communities.”

Harry Dulai

Managing Director of
world food specialists
Surya Foods

Laila NHS Roadshow - Save the lives of others while going about yours

Stop by and enjoy some delicious, free, authentic Indian food while finding out your blood type at one of our special events:

  • Friday 1st Dec, Morrison’s, London Camden Town
  • Saturday 2nd Dec Morrisons, London Stratford
  • Sunday 3rd Dec Morrisions, London Peckham Lane
  • Friday 8th Dec Morrisons, Bradford, Thornbury
  • Saturday 9th Dec Morrison’s, Birmingham, Small Heath
Thalassaemia and Sickle Cell Disease

Thalassaemia mainly affects people with a South Asian, Arab or Mediterranean heritage, and sickle cell disease mainly affects people of black heritage.

It is estimated that 1,000 people in the UK have Thalassaemia, and between 13,000-15,000 people in the UK have sickle cell disease.

Patients with these disorders need regular blood transfusions to stay healthy and to stay alive. They benefit from donations from blood donors from a similar ethnic background.

Click here to learn more about the urgent need for more donors of BAME heritage.

“Blood donors are my heroes” Read Shaylah’s story here

Rice for Life 2017 Campaign Ambassador
  • Ching He Huang

  • Cyrus Todiwala OBE

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