Published:  09:25 PM, 23 March 2021

NHS and Tropical Sun aim to start family ‘Heart to Heart’ about blood and organ donation

NHS and Tropical Sun aim to start family ‘Heart to Heart’ about blood and organ donation

Peopleacross the country are being encouraged to have a ‘heart to heart’ as part of anew campaign to get people from Black and Asian backgrounds talking about bloodand organ donation.

The‘Heart-to-Heart’ campaign is being launched today (23rd March 2021) by NHSBlood and Transplant and popular household food brand, Tropical Sun, leadingimporter of specialist ingredients and daily essentials for ethnic communities.

Thecampaign aims to reach people in the heart of the home: the kitchen and aroundthe dinner table, with the hope of sparking life-saving conversations aboutblood and organ donation.  

Featuringon Tropical Sun’s packets of rice and tins of Jackfruit are the NHS’calls-to-action prompting conversations around blood and organ donation. Theyalso feature powerful real-life stories of people whose lives have beendirectly impacted by blood and organ donation. 

GeraldineParker Smith, National BAME Marketing Manager at NHS Blood and Transplant says:“Tropical Sun have given the NHS a fantastic opportunity to reach out directlyto people who may not have had a reason to think or speak about blood or organdonation before.

“Moreand more black people are saving lives by donating blood but there remains anurgent need for donors from black backgrounds as they are ten times more likelyto have the blood types needed by black patients in need. Ethnically matchedblood gives the best chance for long-term health, particularly with sickle celldisease, which is more common in black people and requires regular completeblood transfusions to reduce the risk of strokes. 

“Throughthis campaign, we also want to encourage families to have the conversationabout organ donation. People from Black and Asian backgrounds are often morelikely to need a transplant, and when it comes to organs like kidneys, the bestmatch may come from someone of the same ethnic background. We are urgingpeople to register their organ donation decision and to share it with theirfamily. Whatever your decision, we know that families are more likely tosupport it when they have the certainty of knowing what you want to happen.”

Inaddition to the on-pack promotion, Tropical Sun has also recruited some of theUK’s leading celebrities to donate blood and record personal reflections onorgan donation. This includes support from celebrities including legendaryathlete, Col Dame Kelly Holmes (MBE mil), actress Nina Wadia OBE and actorRicky Whittle, best known for his starring role in the TV series American Gods.

NinaWadia knows personally the importance of having a conversation about organdonation. Her mum lived with kidney failure and daily dialysis for many years,until eventually a suitable donor was found. While her mum sadly died a fewyears later, Nina speaks of her gratitude for the extra time the transplantgave to the family.

Ninasays: “Even as an actress, I know how difficult it can be to find the rightwords when you are trying to discuss a serious topic, such as organ or blooddonation. So I am glad that the NHS continues to try and find ways to make theconversation easier.

“Formany families, cooking and eating are the times when we can all come togetherto discuss both the little and big life matters. Having the conversation canactually be much easier and quicker than you expect. And yet the differencethat quick chat can make, for people like my mum, and so many others, who areliving in need of a transplant or regular blood transfusions is indescribable.

“Whatgreater gift can there be of knowing that you can be responsible for savingsomebody – or several people’s lives? Or giving a child extra time with aparent, or a parent extra time with their child? Please don’t wait, find outmore about blood and organ donation and have the conversation with your lovedones today.”

Alsosupporting the ‘Heart to Heart’ campaign are boxers Michael Page and AshleyTheophane, actor and comedians Eddie Nestor and John Simmit, rapper andcomedian Doc Brown and celebrity hairstylist Errol Douglas MBE.

Havingpreviously worked with the Sickle Cell Society, the Tropical Sun team werealready aware of the impact that the shortfall in blood and organ donors washaving on Black and Asian communities.

TropicalSun’s Head of Community Paul Harrison says: “The majority of Tropical Suncustomers come from African, Asian and Caribbean backgrounds, so we’redelighted to support the NHS in their quest to improve conditions for peoplefrom these communities.

“Knowinghow these conversations are more likely to happen when families gather formeals, whether cooking or eating, it seemed like the perfect idea to deliverthe message directly on the food itself. We are proud that the ingredientswe supply can help bring individuals and families together – and we hope thatthrough the ‘Heart-to-Heart’ campaign – we can encourage more families to havea conversation about blood and organ donation.”

Formore information, or to register your organ donation decision, visit:

Tobecome a blood donor, register today and book an appointment by calling 0300123 23 23, downloading the GiveBloodNHS app, or visiting

Youcan find out more about Tropical Sun’s support for the Heart-to-Heart campaignat their website

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