Around 20 bookshops are partnering with Granta, author Rose George and the NHS to encourage the public to give blood through the ‘Share a Pint campaign’.
Inspired by the Leeds author's science book, Nine Pints: A Journey Through the Mysterious, Miraculous World of Blood (Portabello), the #ShareAPint campaign “aims to encourage curiosity about the potent liquid that gives us all life, and raise awareness of the importance of becoming a donor,” Granta said. The scheme is being run with NHS Blood and Transplant, a special health authority which provides a blood and transplantation services.
Each bookshop taking part will create a #ShareAPint display to give their customers the facts about blood, and information on how to donate blood locally.
The campaign is inspired by Nine Pints, which was published on 25th October and “reveals the richness and wonder of the potent red fluid that courses around our bodies, unseen but miraculous,” according to Granta, with “George travelling the world to tell nine different stories about blood”.
Almost 20 book stores are taking part including The Edinburgh Bookshop and Welsh indies Browsers Bookshop in Porthmadog, Gwynedd, and Griffin Books in Penarth, Glamorgan, as well as Machynlleth’s Pen'rallt Gallery Bookshop, based in Powys.
London’s Newham Bookshop is also taking part while further south Chard Bookshop in Somerset is participating along with City Books in Hove, East Sussex, Mostly Books which is based in Abingdon-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, and The Haslemere Bookshop in Surrey as well as Blackwell's Oxford. Hertfordshire’s The Chorleywood Bookshop will also participate.
In the Midlands contingent, Warwick Books is on board as is The Rabbit Hole in Brigg, North Lincolnshire, and Bakewell Bookshop which is based in Bakewell, Derbyshire. In Nottingham, Lowdham’s The BookCase.
Further North, Imagined Things Bookshop in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, is flying the flag for #ShareAPint as well as Liverpool’s News From Nowhere Radical & Community Bookshop while Drake the Bookshop in Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham, completes the list.
Joanne Sims, co-owner of Books on the Hill bookshop in Clevedon, said: “We are delighted to be involved with this campaign. Members of our family are here today because of blood transfusions.”
Meanwhile George, who is based in London, said: “Researching the book gave me a new appreciation of how precious blood is, and so it felt more essential than ever to donate some of my own.”
Mike Stredder, director of Blood Donation at NHS Blood and Transplant said: “We are grateful to Rose for highlighting the unique qualities blood holds and the vital role it plays in our lives. Just one unit of donated blood can save or improve the lives of up to three people. Every unit of blood given to a patient has come from a valued voluntary donor like Rose. We need over 6,000 blood donations every day to treat patients in need across England. We hope the book will inspire readers to make an appointment to donate at blood.co.uk.”
In Nine Pints, George takes a tour of the UK’s only leech farm to learn about the vital role the creatures still play in modern surgery and travels in Nepal, she meets girls challenging the taboos surrounding menstruation as well as the Canadian prairies where she visits a controversial plasma clinic and in a London hospital she accompanies a medical team revolutionising the way we treat trauma. The book also explores the contribution of Janet Vaughan, who set up the world’s first system of mass blood donation during the Blitz.