About 700 pubs and bars are now supporting Pinkspiration Week, the charity awareness week (23-30 July) organised by charity Team Margot.
It is especially difficult for blood cancer patients with mixed family heritage to find suitable donor matches, as demonstrated by the fact 2,000 people in the UK are in desperate need of a bone marrow or stem cell transplant.
Team Margot was founded in 2015 by the family of two-year-old Margot Martini, who passed away after being unable to find her ‘perfect match’.
It is hoped that 1.5m new people will register during the campaign week, a number that could potentially save up to 15,000 lives.
Pubs can ‘think pink’ with initiatives like pink drinks lists, pink-inspired food, or staff members wearing the colour to start conversations with punters.
Yaser Martini described joining the register as “quick and easy to do”.
He added: “It’s incredible to think that a stranger standing next to you at the bar could be your ‘perfect match’ and lifesaver, if you needed a stem cell transplant. But you wouldn’t know that, unless they were on the register.
“We are delighted with operators’ enthusiasm for Pinkspiration Week so far and with less than a month to go, would urge others to get on board. It is fun, promotes a worthy cause that everyone can support – and for once, doesn’t involve rattling a collecting tin at customers.”
“If we can reach our target of adding 1.5m people to the register, then up to 15,000 lives could potentially be saved.”
The registration goal is the same number of strokes it will take a four-person rowing team to complete a 3,000-mile journey – backed with the hashtag #WeRowYouRegister.
Celebrity chefs Tom Kerridge, Josh Eggleton, Matt Tebbutt and Louisa Ellis have contributed recipes for pink food on the charity’s website.
Drinks experts to be involved in devising drinks ideas for publicans to try out include flavour guru Pritesh Mody and Tom Proud of the Crafted Projects group, who have created pink serves for the cause.
Emma Inch, the British Guild of Beer Writers' Beer Writer of the Year, has curated a list of pink beers and ciders, including Orchard Pig Pink, sponsors of the Team Margot Atlantic Challenge.
Orchard Pig chief marketing officer Jason Ash said: “In terms of challenges of sheer human endurance, this one epitomises the Orchard Pig attitude of ‘Go Pig or Go Home’, and we’ve been hugely inspired by the Team Margot Atlantic Rowers.
“We’re delighted to sponsor the team and have no doubt they’ll do a brilliant job in raising awareness to drive blood stem cell donor registrations.
“We’ll certainly be encouraging all Orchid Pig customers to support Pinkspiration Week and do their bit to help Team Margot hit its target.”
Operators already involved in the week include Beds & Bars, Yummy Pubs, Cirrus Inns, Arc Inspirations, New World Trading Company, All Our Bars and Fuller’s.
Trade groups UKHospitality and the BII have also encouraged members to get involved.