We know that awareness and understanding of blood cancer is low. 96% of people don't know that blood cancer is one of the biggest cancer killers, and 91% don't know it's one of the most common cancers.
That's why we asked you, our supporters, to join us and amplify the message of our 3 & 5 campaign. Your response was amazing, and together we've had a massive impact.
Sharing the campaign on social media
Throughout Blood Cancer Awareness month we posted blood cancer facts, videos, and statistics on our social media channels, and asked you to share them and spread the word.
During this time our Facebook and Twitter posts received a staggering 45,000 likes, but more importantly, our posts were shared a total of 21,500 times. To put that into context, during an average month our posts are shared around 2,700 times. That's an increase of 700% – a phenomenal boost – and it's you sharing our posts that really helped get our 3 & 5 campaign out to the wider world.
We were also excited to invite three of our new Patient Ambassadors to join us in the office for our first ever Q & A videos, streamed live on Facebook. It was wonderful to see our supporters interacting with our ambassadors, asking questions, and sharing their own experiences of blood cancer. If you'd like to watch the sessions you can do so here: Video 1: Katie Ruane, Video 2: Federica Nardella, Video 3: Brett Grist.
Raising awareness through news, radio and television
Our press team were working overtime throughout September, and they did a fantastic job of raising blood cancer awareness – securing coverage amongst newspaper, radio, and television stations with a combined listenership and circulation of around 27 million people.
Newspaper coverage included one feature in a national newspaper, 24 regional articles featuring the stories of blood cancer patients, and 21 online features – while we were proud to secure six regional TV spots, including blood cancer patient Jenna Bradley's story on ITV news, which you can see here. We also raised the issue of blood cancer awareness through two BBC radio interviews, and with 17 local radio stations – and below you can see a photo of Chris West, our Head of Media and Public Affairs and Reta Brownlow, our Head of Patient Services, preparing for a whole day of radio interviews!
Our events in September
At the Great North Run not only did hundreds of supporters run to beat blood cancer, but we were represented by the TV Times running team – who counted Outlander star Sam Heughan amongst their numbers.
Teams from the City of London also took to the water in our Light The Night Dragon Boat Race, to raise funds and awareness – while our second ever Big Welsh Car Show was a roaring success.
We also celebrated some of our most amazing awareness raisers and fundraisers, The Calendar Girls, whose story has been turned into a new musical comedy 'The Girls'. Written by Gary Barlow and Tim Firth, the musical opens in London’s West End at the Phoenix Theatre from 28 January 2017 - and The Girls spoke to Lorraine Kelly about their inspirational story. You can book your tickets to the show here.
Raising awareness in Parliament
A crucial part of our work is making sure the voices of blood cancer patients are heard in the public debate on health services. So we were proud to launch our brand new Patient Ambassador programme – hosted at a special reception in Speaker's House, Westminster.
It was a great opportunity for our ambassadors to speak to MPs about the issues facing blood cancer patients. As well as working with hospitals and local healthcare settings to raise awareness, our ambassadors will give interviews to the media, support other patients and provide insight into policy issues that impact blood cancer patients. You can find out more about the event here, and read an interview with ambassador Brett Grist here.
Keeping up the momentum
As Blood Cancer Awareness Month came to an end, we were proud to be chosen as the official charity partners of the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 cycle in 2017. With nearly 30,000 cyclists taking on the ride each year, this partnership represents a great opportunity to continue to build awareness of blood cancer in the coming year.
Thank you for your support
It's been a great month, and we're proud of the impact you've helped create. From everyone at Bloodwise, we'd like to say a big thank you for continuing to play such a crucial part in raising awareness of blood cancer.