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Boots Colleagues in England Sign up to Bleed for England

30 September 2015
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During the rugby season, international players aren’t able to donate blood themselves due to their strict training and match commitments. So as part of a campaign launched by NHS Blood and Transplant, Boots UK 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.

International England rugby star Dan Cole recently stepped in as Leicester Fosse Park’s Assistant Manager, Karen Metcalf’s ‘Blood Substitute’ and took over some of her roles by helping shoppers and organising stock while Karen volunteered to give blood at the local donor centre.

Stephen Lehane, HR Director at Boots UK comments: “We were really delighted to be part of this fantastic awareness campaign and we’d like to thank Dan Cole for being Karen Metcalf’s Blood Substitute and for inspiring others at Boots who aren’t already blood donors to register. It is in fact our policy that if colleagues want to give blood but cannot find time outside of their working hours, we support them to attend their appointment during working hours.” 

Boots UK has also supported the campaign through a series of internal events that aim to demonstrate how quick and easy it is for employees to register and give blood. In addition, Boots UK is encouraging their customers to follow suit and sign up to #BleedForEngland via their consumer channels including social media and Boots Advantage Card.

The Boots Blood Substitute film is going live from 30 September 2015 following the launch of the first of a series of digital films.

 Jon Latham, Assistant Director at NHS Blood and Transplant, says: “It’s been great to have the support of Dan Cole and his team mates for this campaign. Dan wasn’t able to donate blood this time but we hope Karen, the Boots UK employee 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 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.  

To watch the film of Dan Cole as the blood substitute, visit




* 100,000 new registrations required from the start of England’s warm up matches through to the finals on the 31st October.


About Boots UK

Boots UK (, the UK’s leading pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer, is part of the Retail Pharmacy International Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA), the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise.  With 2,511* stores in the UK, Boots UK is committed to providing exceptional customer and patient care, be the first choice for pharmacy and healthcare and offer innovative 'only at Boots' exclusive products such as the UK’s leading skincare brand No7, all delivered with the great value customers love. Created over 165 years ago, the Boots brand is still at the heart of the communities it serves.

*As at 31 May 2015 excluding equity method investments


About NHS Blood and Transplant:

  • NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) is a joint England and Wales Special Health Authority. Its remit includes the provision of a reliable, efficient supply of blood and associated services to the NHS in England and North Wales. It is also the organ donor organisation for the UK and is responsible for matching and allocating donated organs
  • Donors can search for sessions, change their contact details, book appointments and change/cancel their appointments in real time on
  • There are apps available for Android, Windows and Apple Smartphone and tablet devices which enable donors to search for sessions based on your location, book and manage appointments.
  • NHSBT’s donor line - 0300 123 23 23 -is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week with all calls charged at the standard local rate, even from mobile phones
  • NHSBT collects 1.7 million units of blood each year from over 23,000 blood donation sessions in more than 3,000 venues
  • A unit of blood is measured as 470mls (or just under a pint)
  • There are four main blood groups – O, A, B and AB. A regular supply of all blood groups is vital – red cells last 35 days and platelets only 7days.
  • Maintaining a regular supply of group O Rh Negative is particularly important to respond to patient need. 



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Boots is the UK’s leading health and beauty retailer with over 52,000 team members and 2,100 stores, ranging from local community pharmacies to large destination health and beauty stores.*

Boots serves its customers and patients for life as the leading provider of healthcare on the high street and the UK’s number one beauty destination. It offers an unrivalled depth and breadth of products, which incorporates its extensive own brand range and innovative portfolio of brands, including No7, the UK’s No1 skincare brand, Soap & Glory, Liz Earle Beauty and Sleek MakeUP.

2024 marks Boots’ 175th anniversary year. Founder John Boot opened a herbalist store in Nottingham in 1849 to offer an affordable alternative to traditional medicines. His son Jesse expanded the business to become a modern retailer and the biggest chemist in Britain. Throughout its history, Boots has listened, learned and innovated, and it continues to challenge itself to improve its products and services every day.

Boots is part of Walgreens Boots Alliance, which is a global leader in pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing retail.  More company information is available on

*Figures accurate as of 30 November 2023