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New learner plates launched in bid to raise awareness of blood donation registration

As of today and for the next month, hundreds of our learner cars will be carrying new learner plates alongside the traditional “L” plates.

These will be sporting the letters “A” “O” and “B” (the letters that make up the blood groups), to encourage learner drivers all over the UK to register to give blood.

We have partnered with NHS Blood and Transplant to create the ‘Missing Type’ campaign, which aims to highlight the need for 204,000 new blood donors to come forward this year across England and North Wales.

The introduction of the letters on our cars coincides with National Blood Week, this week (8th-14th June), which culminates in World Blood Donor Day on Sunday.

The week aims to draw attention to the urgent need to recruit new blood donors across the UK in order to fill the gaps left by existing blood donors who are not able to donate at this time and to ensure there is the right mix of blood groups among blood donors to meet patient needs in future.

RED driving school and blood donation

At RED Driving School we are aware that new blood donors are in decline, with 40% fewer people coming forward last year compared to a decade ago and we want to do what we can to help.

We have been told that in 2015, 204,000 new volunteers need to come forward to donate across England and North Wales to ensure that the nation’s blood stocks remain at a safe level in the future.

RED Driving School CEO of, Ian McIntosh, says, “Donated blood is used to save and improve the lives of patients with cancer, blood disorders and those undergoing surgery.  It’s also used to treat medical trauma such as following accidents. Whilst we emphasise the importance of road safety, and are striving to get the point where there are zero accidents in the UK, unfortunately it’s inevitable that accidents will happen on our roads. Your blood could help people who have sustained life-threatening injuries.

“We never know what lies around the corner in life and when we might need the help of someone else. This is why we are working closely with NHS Blood and Transplant and our cars will proudly wear the blood group plates to encourage our learners, instructors and fellow road users to register as donors and book an appointment to give blood.”

Martin Godden, a RED instructor from Waltham Abbey, says, “I’m a proud blood donor and will proudly be wearing a letter “A” on my car to help support the ‘Missing Type’ campaign. It’s something we all hope we will never need but by giving blood, which is so easy for me to do, I might just be able to help save the life of a stranger who needs help. That gives me enormous comfort.”

Jon Latham, Assistant Director for Donor Services and Marketing at NHS Blood and Transplant, says, “Giving blood is an amazing thing to do and we’re really thankful to RED Driving School for helping to raise awareness of the need for new donors. We hope people will come forward and help us to reverse the decline in new donors. If you haven’t given blood before, it’s really simple, just go here, to find out if you’re eligible to donate, register as a donor and book an appointment today. Giving blood is simple and easy to do and will only take about an hour of your time.  But it could literally be a matter of life and death for somebody else.”

Guys holding OAB plates instead of L Plates for blood donation

There are a number of ways you can support National Blood Week campaign:

  • If you are 17 or over, click here or call 0300 123 23 23 today to find out if you are eligible to donate, register as a blood donor and to book your appointment
  • Download our app by searching ‘NHSGiveBlood’ in the App store.  It’s available for Android, Windows and Apple Smartphone and tablet devices
  • Show your support for blood donation on social media during National Blood Week by posting about blood donation and removing the As, Os and Bs, using #missingtype