Today First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP visited the Edinburgh Donor Centre, to thank donors and staff for their efforts during the busy festive season. During the visit she also met with representatives from the Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society (SABS), who have been working with the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) to encourage more people to give blood, especially members of the Muslim community.
The First Minister was welcomed by Mary Morgan, Director of the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service, before meeting donors and discussing the success of the Imam Hussain Blood Donation campaign in Scotland.
Ms. Sturgeon said: "I am delighted to support the Imam Hussain Blood Donation Campaign. It is important for everyone to consider giving blood if they can, because it’s quick, safe, easy and can literally save lives.
"I was pleased to be able to visit the Edinburgh Blood Donor Centre today to thank donors and staff, and to learn more about the valuable role the Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society plays in this campaign, by working to encourage the Muslim community across Edinburgh and the Lothians to give blood."
SABS has worked closely with SNBTS since 2013, when the former launched its first Imam Hussain Blood Donation campaign in Scotland. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of the need for blood donors in Scotland, amongst Muslims and all communities during the holy month of Muharram - the Islamic New Year. More than 1,500 donations have been given as a result of the campaign.
Speaking at the visit Mary Morgan said: “Our friends at the Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society have shown us enormous support over the past few years by helping to raise awareness of the need for blood donors in Scotland, amongst Muslims and the wider community.
"We’re most grateful that the First Minister took the time to visit the Edinburgh Donor Centre to meet our staff and donors, and recognize our partnership with SABS. At this time of year it’s especially important that our blood stocks are kept at safe levels so having more donors sign up to donate is most welcome."
Shabir Beg, Chairman of the Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society said:
"The Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service continues to play a crucial role in the lives of so many people. We at the Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society are proud to have been able to support them in their work, and to have promoted blood donation among the Shia and wider Muslim community, and all other Scottish minority ethnic communities as part of the Imam Hussain Blood Donation Campaign Scotland.
"The Campaign promotes the faith values of community spirit, love and humanity in the name of Imam Hussain. It is an honour to have the support of the First Minister of Scotland in this work which we hope to be able to carry forward for many years to come."