During the rugby season, top-flight professional rugby players would be unlikely to donate blood themselves due to their strict training and match commitments. So as part of a campaign launched by NHS Blood and Transplant, a dog grooming salon, Grr’s 2 Purr in Market Harborough, is taking part in a series of ‘Blood Substitute’ films for the #BleedForEngland campaign.

The #BleedForEngland campaign is supported by a number of current and ex-international rugby players and aims to drive sign up of 100,000 new blood donors between 15 August and 31 October 2015.

The ‘Blood Substitute’ films feature rugby players covering staff shifts to free up an hour of an employees’ time so they can go and give blood – they are their ‘Blood Substitutes’ – inspiring others to sign up and book appointments to #BleedForEngland.

England player and Leicester Tigers rugby star, Tom Croft, recently stepped in as the salon’s co-owner, Frances Cheshire’s ‘Blood Substitute’. He took over some of her roles such as brushing and washing the dogs while she volunteered to give blood for the first time at the Leicester Donor Centre.


Jon Latham, Assistant Director at NHS Blood and Transplant, says: “It’s been great to have the support of Tom Croft and past and present rugby players for this campaign. Tom wasn’t able to donate blood this time but we hope Fran, the Grr’s 2 Purr’s co-owner he substituted for, will inspire others to join the #BleedForEngland squad.

“Become one of the 100,000 people we are aiming to register as donors in the run up to, and during, the world’s biggest rugby tournament. Giving blood is an amazing thing to do. Help us meet the need for new donors. Please go to www.blood.co.uk today, find out if you can donate, register as a donor and book an appointment. Giving blood is simple and easy to do and will only take about an hour of your time. We plan our sessions in line with the amount of blood we need to collect to meet hospital and patient needs so it’s best to book an appointment.”

NHS Blood and Transplant is calling on 100,000 new volunteers to show their support in a way that really matters; by registering to become a blood donor between 15 August and 31 October 2015. By choosing to book an appointment to donate – and literally #BleedForEngland – these new registrants will contribute to the more than 200,000 new donors needed this year.

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