Thank you to those who have contacted me about Anthony Nolan’s most recent campaign: ‘Destination Cure’ and EDM 301.

As a Member of the Government, I am unable to sign any Early Day Motions, however am a huge supported of Anthony Nolan, with my name only just coming off the bone marrow register after more than 20 years - due to reaching the age of 60!

Bone marrow donors are recruited by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) and the partner charity, Anthony Nolan. Anthony Nolan and NHSBT work together to run a number of nationwide initiatives and campaigns to raise awareness of the need for donors and to increase the numbers of people signing up to become donors. You may be interested to know that last year, the register reached over one million registered donors for the first time.

I am reassured to know that this year the Government has announced an extra £3 million in additional funding for stem cell services, part of £19 million in additional investment that the Government has committed since 2010 to improve the provision of cells in the UK. This funding will be used towards encouraging young adult donors as well as those from under-represented populations, such as black, Asian and ethnic minority communities who find it difficult to secure a suitable match.

I am encouraged that the number of stem cell transplants has increased from 800 in 2010-11 to over 1000 in 2013-14, representing approximately 130 additional lives being saved each year in the last five years. I am glad to see Anthony Nolan continuing to work with the NHS on this important issue – I have always been a supporter and hope that everyone taking part in this campaign has also registered as a possible donor. It really is important.