The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme has revealed that Bukola Bolarinwa is one of the 60 young people from across the Commonwealth that have been selected to receive the prestigious Queen’s Young Leaders Award.
The Queen’s Young Leaders Awards recognise and celebrate exceptional young people aged 18 to 29 in the Commonwealth who are driving change within their communities and transforming people’s lives.
Recognized for her work in encouraging thousands of new people to give blood, 28-year-old Bukola from Lagos, alongside others will receive their Award from Her Majesty the Queen at a ceremony in London next year.
Bukola Bolarinwa said, “I believe the Queen’s Young Leader Award will improve my leadership skills and help me to cement already established links with universities and colleges to develop a culture of voluntary and regular blood donation.”
About Bukola Bolarinwa
Bukola was born with Sickle Cell Disease. After noticing the chronic shortage of blood faced by people living with Sickle Cell who need regular transfusions, she joined the Sickle Cell Aid Foundation in 2010 to help raise awareness about the importance of giving blood.
She began a monthly campaign drive in partnership with the National Blood Transfusion Service to try to ensure a regular supply of donated blood, and to help combat cultural fears about giving blood. In 2015, Bukola set up an online blood donation register which asks young people to register to donate blood in emergency situations.
During its first year, the register has gained more than 1,000 prospective donors and, through the use of social media and text messaging, linked over 500 donors with patients in urgent need of blood. Bukola is currently working to recruit 5,000 people as registered blood donors by December 2017.