Yarnbombers target Axminster

14:39 24 February 2014

Blood donor team members Joanne Seddon (left)  and Harriett Summerhays with Axminster

Blood donor team members Joanne Seddon (left) and Harriett Summerhays with Axminster's yarn-bombed Minster Green tree. Photo by Chris Carson

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Woolen red drops hung from Minster Green tree to promote blood and organ donation

Putting the blood doning message across in Axminster. Photo by Chris CarsonPutting the blood doning message across in Axminster. Photo by Chris Carson

Three early risers from East Devon District Council took to the treetops in Axminster on Friday to promote blood and organ donation.

The trio from the StreetScene team were helping Jo Seddon, from NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) with a campaign to encourage more young people to support the cause.

Dave Seal, Graham Trude and Jerry Preston were in the town centre at 6am hanging more than 150 woollen blood drops in a tree on the Minster Green.

‘Yarnbombing’ – also known as guerrilla knitting - is a type of street art which involves decorating prominent buildings and places with eye-catching knitted objects, often to raise awareness of an issue or promote a worthy cause.

Inspired by the trend, staff from NHSBT hoped the display will remind local young people that blood doesn’t grow on trees. Someone, somewhere must donate it before it can be used to save the lives of people undergoing treatment for cancers, blood disorders, surgical procedures and emergency treatment.

Geraldine Parker, NHSBT’s lead donor relations manager for the South-West, said: “The number of people aged between 17 and 24 signing up to give blood has fallen significantly in recent years and this is a problem because donors in their late teens and early 20s are needed to replace older people who stop giving blood.

“There are currently 563 active blood donors aged between 17 and 24 in the East Devon district but we hope more local young people will be inspired by our campaign and become the donors of the future.”

“We’ve had a fantastic response to the campaign so far and enjoyed an incredible amount of support from knitters who created the blood drops for us.”

To register, find a session and book an appointment, visit www.blood.co.uk

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