A partnership between Police Scotland and blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan has inspired more than 500 police recruits to register as stem cell donors.
Blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan matches stem cell donors with people in need of a lifesaving transplant. The partnership between Police Scotland and Anthony Nolan aims to increase the number of police officers on the stem cell donor register and help save the lives of more people with blood cancer. The ground-breaking collaboration is the first time a national police force has partnered with Anthony Nolan to encourage people to join the register.
Approximately 800 police recruits, known as probationers, receive initial training at Tulliallan College in Kincardine-on-Forth each year. Probationers receive an introduction to the work of Anthony Nolan and have an opportunity to register as a potential donor for people in need of a lifesaving transplant. Since the partnership launched in September 2016, ten events have taken place, and 514 probationers have registered as stem cell donors by performing a simple cheek swab.
Anyone aged 16-30 can join the Anthony Nolan register, but young men are particularly in demand as they make up just 17% of potential donors. More than half (56%) of Police Scotland recruits who have joined the register are male, which is helping to make the register more representative.
Anthony Nolan’s Chief Executive Henny Braund said: “We are delighted that our partnership with Police Scotland has already resulted in more than 500 probationers joining the Anthony Nolan register. Anyone who signs up as a stem cell donor has the potential to save the life of someone with blood cancer, so it’s vital that people have the chance to hear about it and sign up. Joining the register is simple – just fill in a form and provide a cheek swab. If you are a match for someone and go on to donate, 90% of people will donate through their blood in a straightforward outpatient procedure.”
Superintendent Chris Stones of Police Scotland said: “The partnership represents a fantastic opportunity for Police Scotland student Constables to volunteer to join the Anthony Nolan register in order to give someone in need the chance of life. We are delighted to work with Anthony Nolan, raising the awareness of the amazing work they do, and hope that this milestone is just the first of many.”