On 1st October 2012 we took the pioneering decision to change our joining policy to allow 16 year olds to join the register, making us the first bone marrow register in the world to do so. In the first ten weeks of the new policy, we have recorded an incredible 8292 online applications – an increase of 25% on the same period last year. Of those who have applied to join the register, well over 50% (4468) are aged 16-22.
This is positive news for the make up of our register – new figures released this week show that the average age of our register is now 27, which has come down from 29 in just two months.
Ann O’Leary, Head of Register for Anthony Nolan, says, “This is such encouraging news. We wanted to reduce the average age of our register because younger donors are more likely to be chosen to donate. They are also statistically less likely to suffer from conditions which may delay or prevent donation altogether. However, we didn’t predict that there would be such a fantastic response from the general public, meaning that not only are we recruiting faster than ever before, but we’re recruiting the donors who are most likely to be able to save lives.”