Community Engagement Leads initiative

Information about this initiative and the focus on stem cell donation

Please note the application window for the latest round of funding is now closed.

On this page:

What is the initiative?

During our last funding round, we extended the Community Investment Scheme beyond project work, to include a new Community Engagement Leads initiative.

This initiative centred on developing a grassroots network to overcome inequalities within blood and organ donation.

For the latest funding round, applications had to be focused on overcoming inequalities within stem cell donation.

The grant is set at £20,000 per organisation, and applications had to show skill, capacity and experience of project delivery.

Applicants did not have to submit a project plan or a budget. These will be developed with successful applicants working alongside NHS Blood and Transplant and Anthony Nolan.

How will the initiative work? 

We aim to work with organisations to create a grassroots network that helps to signpost and motivate others around issues of health inequality.

We know this is important in saving lives as the data shows that ethnically matched stem cells provide the best treatment.

We hope to work with trusted and authentic voices in the community to deliver these messages and make a real change for those whose lives will be improved or saved by donation.

Within their project the successful grantee will:

  • Work in partnership with NHSBT and Anthony Nolan to map the local area in terms of community organisations, faith organisations and local health infrastructure.

  • Jointly develop the creation of a local delivery plan that signposts, motivates or embeds.

    Signposting is directing community organisations, faith organisations or members of the public to existing information or messaging.

    is holding events with local partners that raise awareness of donation.

    is working with local health inequality infrastructure to ensure stem cell donation has a level of prominence.

  • Collaborate with NHSBT to understand and create culturally relevant and appropriate messaging.


The initiative identifies both the importance of ethnicity and geographical location in donation. As a result, the initiative will take a place-based approach with a focus on both ethnicities and geographical location.

Communities and geographic areas of focus

Data shows that ethnically matched donors provide the best treatment. We have therefore selected the following ethnicities and geographies to focus on and only organisations that focus on these ethnicities within the selected geographies will be considered for grants.

We are looking to fund two lead organisations in this funding round.

  • Birmingham with a focus on the Pakistani community
  • Bradford with a focus on the Pakistani community

Applying for funding

The application window for this round of funding is now closed.

Further questions

If you have any further questions about the scheme, please send them to and we will respond as soon as we can.