Members of the Muslim community came together for a special blood donation day as part of a nationwide campaign.

A total of 70 people donated blood at the KSIMC of London, the Husaini Islamic Centre, in Wood Lane, Stanmore.

This inaugural session was inspired by the Imam Hussain Blood Donation Campaign, which is the largest Islamic campaign of its kind in the UK.

Akil Kanani, secretary of the KSIMC of London, said: “Giving blood is paramount and so this is a very important occasion.

“We’ve been working hard with the Imam Hussain Blood Donation Campaign and the NHS Blood and Transplant assessment team for many months for this occasion. To facilitate so many blood donors at our first event is tremendous.

“We pay tribute to the Imam Hussain Blood Donation Campaign and others in this field for their inspiring work.

“We now look forward to opening our doors regularly to those selfless people that choose to save lives by donating blood.”

The NHS is keen for more ethnic minority groups to donate blood after it emerged that, last year, they represented just five per cent of all donations.

An NHS spokesperson said: “In England, we need just under 200,000 new donors to attend a session to give blood this year and there is a particular need to attract people from minority ethnic communities.

“People from the same ethnic background are more likely to be a match but there is a shortage of donors from minority communities.

“By hosting blood donation days in mosques and Islamic centres, we believe that this can encourage people to step forward and save lives.”

To donate blood, one should be fit and healthy, weigh more than 50kg, and be aged between 17 and 66 (or up to 70 if they have given blood before).

Visit or call 0300 123 23 23 to find out more and book an appointment.