Glasgow Refugee Asylum and Migration Network (GRAMNet)

Bringing together researchers, practitioners and policy makers working with migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in Scotland

Bloody Foreigners – heroes come in all types and nationalities!*

Photo: Bloody Foreigners (

Photo: Bloody Foreigners (


A coalition of migrant groups is teaming up in an attempt to increase the number of donors by mobilising migrant & ethnic minority communities to give blood in a new major social campaign, controversially titled Bloody Foreigners.

A number of organisations supporting migrants ethnic minority groups come together in the UK-wide movement aimed at raising awareness on blood donation, increasing number of donors and reducing barriers such as: lack of knowledge or inability to access information. The movement is supported by an extensive information campaign consisting of an interactive website, social media activities and multilingual info materials.

It’s common knowledge that blood saves lives, but according to the NHS only 4% of eligible donors in the UK are regularly giving blood. Donor Centres throughout the country struggle for enough donations to meet the demand, especially for blood of the most popular types (such as O+). Blood Centres need roughly 1000 new donors per week as regular donors can only donate once every 12 (men) or 16 (women) weeks. It’s difficult to predict a long term demand. Since blood in general doesn’t have a very long shelf life it’s very important to maintain a regular supply. Every single donation can help as many as three people in need. The new campaign aims to get as many people as possible to register and to regularly donate blood.

Barbara Wesolowska, Edinburgh – volunteer said:
Blood is universal to all as it has no colour, religion, gender, or sex preference. It is a warm reminder of how simply similar we are to each other, and by supporting this campaign I want to make yet another positive contribution to the society.

The activities planned across the UK will involve week long (13-20 April 2015) call-to- action campaign to register to become a donor, guerrilla marketing activities, photo competition and events organised locally by partner organisations.

Kasia Kokowska, Edinburgh- volunteer said:
The best things in life are free and almost anyone can donate blood. It’s the simplest
and most equal way of giving back and saving lives.

Golden Eagle International Hockey Team members will donate blood and organise a series of activities to raise awareness about the campaign during the Wojtek The Bear Hockey Cup in Aberdeen, Edinburgh & Dundee.

Joanna Zawadzka, the campaign coordinator, who works for Fife Migrants Forum and is involved in multiple community projects explains: We are always looking for new ways to encourage better integration of migrant and ethnic minority groups. I was thinking about how popular donating blood is in my native Poland: even my own grandfather was involved in setting up a first blood donor centre in my hometown. I was speaking to lots of people and it turns out everybody knows someone who gives blood and would be willing to do the same. So we decided to encourage even more people. The campaign operates under a very controversial but tongue-in-cheek title Bloody Foreigners and will coincide with the national elections. We’re aware how controversial the title sounds, explains Ms Zawadzka, but we feel it’s very fitting. We expect that in the build up to the national elections the migrants will be one of the hot topics and we fear immigration will be used in a negative context. We want to balance that out by re-claiming the phrase that’s been used for decades by tabloid media to describe newcomers to this country.We want to coin a new meaning for this phrase, and that is to describe blood-donating migrants. It will also allow us to promote a positive image of migrant groups and show the general public that those groups are fully capable of integrating and giving back.


More information about the campaign can be found at: or on social media:
Twitter: @BForeigners


Joanna Zawadzka – campaign coordinator Email: Mob: 07963434441
*This press release was first published on the Bloody Foreigners website, on the 13th April 2015.

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This entry was posted on April 18, 2015 by in Comment.
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