By Hannah Mason
Give a spit, save a life. Sounds pretty simple – doesn’t it? UCLan Marrow are here to help register students and staff to the Bone Marrow donor register, fundraise for Anthony Nolan help raise awareness of blood cancer and leukemia.
Last summer Lucy Haigh, the SU Campaigns Officer, began creating a society for students to start saving lives by signing up to be on the donor register for Bone Marrow. “It’s an important cause and together the Students’ Union and our students can make a real impact on people’s lives.”
Why get involved? Gracie Donoghue, a first year volunteer, said “I wanted to join a society but with this one it was a way of helping others and making change.” One of the great things about the society is the volunteers, speaking to the Chair, Debii O’Connor-Neil, the main reason she got involved was because it was close to her heart. After her experience with a family member, she wanted to give back so got involved with the society to help raise awareness. Overall there’s twenty-three volunteers involved with the campaign but the amount of volunteers continues to grow.
They have been visibly active across campus by educating students and raising awareness and have helped seventy students sign up to the donor register. “We are short of donors, especially BME, it can be hard to get across to students that it’s something which needs to be done,” Debii explained that on the various events they’ve had they’ve managed to branch out to a variety of students across campus, “we’ve spoken to lots of different students, most recently the new Nursing students which was great to get them involved.” Each month UCLan Marrow hold at least one event as well as having regular training sessions for new volunteers, Debii revealed the society have a range of brilliant ideas and plans for future events and ways to get students involved.
They don’t just stay on our campus, there’s opportunities for the society to go to both regional and national AGM meetings. Through this they meet other students from different universities who share their experiences of Anthony Nolan and Marrow. The society enjoy this because through attending the events they get to hear new campaigns and news related to Anthony Nolan and learn more information that they can pass on to UCLan students.
This ever growing society has their success story, their hard-work and dedication has meant more volunteers, more awareness and more importantly – more future donors. Continuing on next year they hope they’ll come back bigger and louder. Lucy’s delighted with the society “it’s now student led and I’m really happy with it and the students involved should be so proud of what they’ve accomplished.”
You can get involved too, the next UCLan Marrow training session is Wednesday 22nd April, Greenbank Lecture Theatre at 2pm. Or just pop along to one of their events to sign up for the donor register. Just spitting in a tube could potentially mean you saving somebody’s life.
Want to find out more about UCLan Marrow? Find them on facebook here