One of our biomedical scientists, who works in Liverpool Clinical Laboratories at the Royal, has written a book encouraging people to improve the lives of others through community action.
Akinola Adewunmi was inspired to write Beyond the Workplace: How to impact the community using your passion and career skills, after working with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities in Liverpool and Africa, helping children in hospital and recruiting 600 blood donors in the city region.
Born in Nigeria but later made Liverpool his home, Akin said: “I wrote Beyond the Workplace to inspire people to take action and do something for others to improve their communities. If they are already taking that action then I wanted to help them move to the next level.”
Akin and his wife Olubukola, who is also a biomedical scientist at LCL in Aintree, established PathLab Support in 2012 to support adults and children with sickle cell disease, the fastest-growing genetic blood disorder in the UK.
“Olu and I are both sickle cell carriers, so there was a 25% chance each of our children could be affected, but thankfully we were three times lucky! It was this experience that inspired us to do something for others. We started raising awareness of sickle cell disease and supporting affected individuals and families,” said Akin.
PathLab Support has helped hospital care for children in Nigeria, through offsetting hospital bills and organising three separate trips to donate toys and gifts. They also donated toys for children in Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and have encouraged local people to sign up as blood donors in Liverpool.
Akin said: “Working in the blood transfusion laboratory gives me the opportunity to see the ‘miracle’ of blood transfusion, how it improves and saves the lives of many patients.
“The national shortage of blood donors from BAME communities makes it harder to find the best-matched blood to treat patients. This is why we wanted to raise public awareness and support the NHS Blood and Transplant service.
“The PathLab team have recruited about 600 blood donors from Caucasian and BAME communities in the Liverpool City Region, which includes Pakistani, Nigerian and Somali communities. In previous years, we went along to local events such as Africa Oye Festival and Love Knotty Ash Community Fun Day, Global Cultural Day and many others, but this year has obviously been harder to reach people directly.
“I hope that the publicity around Beyond the Workplace will encourage even more people to sign up as blood donors, particularly if they are from BAME backgrounds.”
- Beyond the Workplace book will be released on 21 November, 2020 on Amazon.
- To sign up as a blood donor, or find out more facts, visit blood.co.uk