My first week at Anthony Nolan

Anthony Nolan save the lives of people with blood cancers or blood disorders by matching individuals willing to donate their blood stem cells or bone marrow to people who need lifesaving transplants.

I first got marrow (2)involved with Anthony Nolan through Marrow at Imperial. This is Anthony Nolan’s University Branch and we run recruitment events to sign people up to the register, fundraise and spread the word about how easy it can be to save somebodies life. Next year I will even be taking the plunge along with a whole group of nationwide marrow volunteers and jumping out of a plane to raise as much money as possible. It’s a society well worth being a part of.

The goal of my charity insights project is to increase new donor engagement with Anthony Nolan particularly to increase interaction with young men online. This group is targeted because 50% of donations come from young men while they only make up 15% of the register. In 2015-16 only 27% of all online applications came from young men. This needs to be changed by creating engaging content on platforms that young men are influenced by.

During the first week I have been analysing the current research Anthony Nolan has done as well as looking at different methods by which they could increase awareness around the charity. This could be done through livestreaming events and looking for vloggers/bloggers who may be willing to discuss Anthony Nolan with their audience.

I also have used the opportunity to explore different aspects of the charity. On Tuesday I had the opportunity to meet a donor and it was inspiring to meet someone willing to do something so selfless. Later that evening I had another interesting experience in the form of a spit kit social. To add people to the register they must first be tissue typed which requires a spit sample. At the social the tubes required for this are individually labelled by volunteers before being packed up and sent out. I didn’t appreciate the effort required until I’d labelled and packed a bag of 70 kits!

I have learnt a lot about the charity in this past week and what impressed me the most was how much everyone I have met cares about the charity and not only the patients that they aid but the donors too. Great care is taken of the donors from getting a visit from a volunteer during donation to travel and accommodation for them and a friend being paid for and follow up phone calls a few days and weeks after donation.

Anthony Nolan has been an amazing charity to work for. Before the first day I was nervous as I knew the style of working would be very different to anything I had experienced before but as soon as I arrived at the office I was put at ease by the friendliness of the staff and I soon adjusted to the offices way of working (though I’m not sure me or my bladder can get used to drinking so many cups of tea). I look forward to the next three weeks.

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