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What we do


When a person needs a stem cell transplant, it’s often their last hope. For the transplant to be a success they need to find the right match. As the UK’s most successful stem cell register, we help them find that match.

Each day, we provide two people with a lifesaving transplant. We’d like to save even more lives, and to be able to do this we work together as a team. We raise funds to finance our work, are innovative with our science and research and run the register that manages our donors.

You can read some key facts and statistics about our work here

Here’s how we help to save lives:

We fundraise to help save more lives

Fundraising raises all the voluntary income from individuals, companies and trusts that funds our lifesaving work. Working from our head office in London and across England, Wales and Scotland, we raise money in many different ways. People support us with regular gifts, taking part in one of our 100 fundraising events around the country, or by their company forming a partnership with us. Fundraising also plays a big role in raising awareness about the charity’s work. For every £1 we raise, 82p goes directly towards lifesaving work. To find out more, please go to How You Can Help.

We match donors with patients

The core of operations is managing the register and looking after our donors. We recruit people to the register, search for matches in the UK and abroad, and liaise with hospitals and transplant centres. Once a match has been found, we take care of the whole process. We contact the donor, look after them before and after the procedure, and ensure the donation reaches the patient safely.

We research ways to improve transplant success

Our research team is dedicated to improving the success of haematopoietic stem cell transplants. We are one of the leading authorities on stem cell transplantation, with five research teams and high-profile scientific and medical directors.

We test to see if donors are a match

In order to find the right ‘match’, we need to make sure the donor and patient have the same tissue-type. Comprising of five teams, our histocompatibility laboratory works on samples from donors and patients. Using state-of-the-art technology, they analyse the tissue type using a process called HLA typing.

We use cord blood to help save lives

Expanding our ability to save more lives, we’ve set up the UK’s first dedicated cord blood bank and research facility. As umbilical cord blood is rich in stem cells, we can use them in lifesaving transplants. We offer expectant mothers the chance to donate their cord, something that is done after the safe birth of their child. We then process the cord at our Cell Therapy Centre in Nottingham. Depending on the results, we then decide whether to use it for research or for a transplant.