Grassroots groups get £685,000 in Government funding

5 April 2023

How will this funding help?

Fifty community groups and organisations across England and Wales have received a share of £685,000 funding as part of the Government’s commitment to continue to tackle health inequalities and promote organ, blood, and stem cell donation among Black and Asian communities.

The Community Grants Programme, previously known as the Community Investment Scheme, is managed by NHS Blood and Transplant and helps to fund community, faith, or belief organisations to deliver projects that encourage more Black and Asian people to become donors.

More donors are urgently needed because the shortage of donors from Black and Asian communities means patients from these communities can have worse outcomes. People from the same ethnic background are more likely to be a match.

  • NHSBT can only provide the best matched blood for people with sickle cell around half the time. Sickle cell is the fastest growing genetic condition in the UK. It is more prevalent in people from Black African or Black Caribbean backgrounds. The NHS needs a record 250 blood donations a day to treat people with sickle cell.
  • Black and Asian people wait longer for organ transplants. People from Black, Asian, Mixed or Other minority ethnic backgrounds make up one third of all people on the transplant waiting list, due to the difficulties finding a match.
  • White patients have about 80-90% chance of finding a stem cell match from a stranger. However Black, Asian and mixed race people can only find a stem cell match from a stranger around 30-40% of the time.


The Community Grants Programme scheme has shown that enabling grassroots organisations to champion organ, blood and stem cell donation in a culturally relevant way increases awareness and engagement, helping move towards greater health equality and a more diverse donor base.

A total of £685,000 has been distributed among community-based projects across England and Wales. The full list of groups is at the end of this release (1). Anthony Nolan is again supporting the programme by providing 40% of the contribution towards projects working on stem cell donation.

Funds that were available for each area were around:

  • Blood donation projects - £242,000
  • Living kidney donation projects - £113,000
  • Deceased organ donation projects - £128,000
  • Stem cell donation projects - £102,000
  • Combined donation projects (covering more than one type of donation) - £100,000


One organisation's story

'We Are Donors' stall at King's College UniversityOne example of the many organisations receiving funding is We Are Donors, which is a national network of university student groups working to raise awareness of organ and blood donation in order to increase the number of donors across the UK.

To raise awareness around organ donation, We Are Donors will be using their ten local groups across England and Wales to deliver educational talks and workshops to pupils aged 11-18 years in areas known to have higher proportion of people from Black African and Caribbean heritage.

To raise awareness for blood donation, their programme will be targeted towards Black African and Caribbean university students aged 18-25. This will run at their nine established university groups based in England. These groups will aim to educate, raise awareness and register new blood donors through focused educational events and talks.

Additional information

  • More information about the Community Grants Programme can be found here or by contacting:
  • The Community Grants Programme is part of a Government-funded campaign, led by NHS Blood and Transplant, with support from the National BAME Transplant Alliance (NBTA), and support and funding from Anthony Noland, to address the urgent need for donors from black, Asian and mixed ethnic backgrounds.

Press release notes

The list of organisations receiving funding is:

  • ACLT (African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust)
  • Adventures in Compassionate Commerce (AiCC)
  • African Centre For Development and Research
  • Black Blood Matters
  • Black Health Initiative (BHI)
  • Caribbean & African Health Network (CAHN)
  • Cianna's Smile
  • Equality Council UK (ECUK)
  • Father Hudson's Care - Brushstrokes Community Project
  • Faiths Forum for London
  • Inspired by JLG LTD
  • Legacy901 CIC
  • RAFFA International Development Agency
  • Rochdale Dawah Centre
  • Sickle Cell Society
  • Sickle Cell Suffolk
  • Toni Annette Limited
  • BBSI
  • British Islamic Medical Association
  • Halal Dinner Club (part of the Leaf Coaching CIC)
  • ILM-Ornate Lane Ltd ( Raising Explorers)
  • Jain and Hindu Organ Donation Alliance (JHOD)
  • Kidney Wales
  • Muslim Women's Network UK
  • Navnat Vanik Association
  • QED
  • Sadhu Vaswani
  • Shade 7 Limited
  • Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Kingsbury
  • University of Bedfordshire
  • Action On Blood
  • Donor Research at University of Brighton
  • Impact4Life Wellbeing CIC
  • Medway African and Caribbean Association (MACA)
  • Ujima Radio
  • We Are Donors
  • Action On Blood
  • ACLT (African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust)
  • Consortium of Muslim Professional
  • Jain and Hindu Organ Donation Alliance (JHOD)
  • Muslim Doctors Association
  • One Voice Blackburn
  • Gift of Living Donation( GOLD) & Imperial College Renal and Transplant Centre
  • Jain and Hindu Organ Donation Alliance (JHOD) and Royal Free Hospital Trust
  • Newham Community Project
  • Nishkam Healthcare Trust
  • Shade 7 Limited
  • Tales to Inspire
  • Vanik Council (UK)