Our history

Anthony Nolan’s education activity is the legacy of a young journalist who died from leukaemia.  


Adrian Sudbury believed that more lives could be saved if young people knew the importance of stem cell, blood and organ donation. He campaigned for better education about donation and presented a petition to the government in 2008, just before he lost his battle with cancer. His vision became reality in 2009, when a pilot education programme was launched under the name Register & Be A Lifesaver (R&Be).

After a successful pilot, Register & Be A Lifesaver was delivered by Anthony Nolan, in collaboration with NHS Blood and Transplant until September 2017.  

Delivery of R&Be then transferred to the Adrian Sudbury Schools’ Education Trust (ASSET), an independent charitable trust established by Adrian’s parents Keith and Kay Sudbury. ASSET are our valued partners and play a vital role in recruiting young donors to the stem cell register.  

In September 2017, we launched The Hero Project to continue our commitment to educating young lifesavers. The Hero Project delivers inspirational presentations about stem cell, blood and organ donation through trained volunteers. Since then, we have expanded our activity to include virtual presentations, self-delivery packages and youth volunteering opportunities. We continue to work in collaboration with NHS Blood and Transplant on The Hero Project.  

Adrian Sudbury was the driving force for education at Anthony Nolan and his legacy continues in both R&Be and The Hero Project. Adrian’s vision has already resulted in young people going on to donate their stem cells and give hope to patients in need of transplants.