Henny Braund

Henny Braund, Chief Executive of Anthony Nolan, writes about how the charity’s cord blood programme is set to benefit from a major cash boost announced this week.

It’s been a great week at Anthony Nolan. Thanks to a major cash injection through the latest round of a Government initiative, we will be able to save more lives through stem cell collection.

The grant of more than £1.5 million will fast track the expansion of our pioneering cord blood collection programme from five hospitals to eight – a move which will make us the biggest public cord blood collection programme in England.

Blood from the umbilical cord is normally disposed of after birth but can be used in lifesaving stem cell transplants for patients with blood cancers, such as leukaemia. This provides a vital alternative for patients who cannot find a match on the adult bone marrow donor register run by Anthony Nolan.

The funding is part of the latest round of the Government’s Regional Growth Fund which will help 102 projects and companies throughout the country by injecting £506 million cash.

The exact details of the expansion are still to be finalised but we know that our plans will also include an increase in services at our Nottingham based public cord bank to speed up getting cords on the register and ready for use by transplant doctors.

This fantastic news is potentially life-changing for so many people. I’m absolutely delighted that it has given the green light to developing our cord blood collection programme even faster than we had hoped.

Anthony Nolan is incredibly proud to be expanding into the position of the biggest public cord blood collection programme in England. This award is a testament to the vital importance of our work in saving the lives of people with blood cancer and other blood disorders who so desperately need a stem cell transplant.

Cord blood is such a precious resource but it’s simply thrown away. Thanks to the RGF funding, we can help more mums save the life of someone with blood cancer. I am very much looking forward to working with the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills to make our expansion plans for our cord blood collection programme a reality.