An awareness week for Team Margot, the charity set up by industry entrepreneur Yaser Martini, is gathering support from a growing number of operators across the hospitality sector, ahead of the first Pinkspiration Week, running from July 23 to 30.

The support already pledged means around 500 outlets will be running activity around the week. Operators Beds and Bars, Glendola Leisure, Yummy Pubs, Cirrus Inns, Arc Inspirations, New World Trading, All Our Bars, and Fuller’s have agreed to participate, while UK Hospitality and the BII are encouraging members to back the campaign.

Unlike most charity initiatives, Pinkspiration Week is aiming not to raise money, but to encourage people to register as stem cell and bone marrow donors.

The campaign links to the Team Margot Atlantic Row in December this year, when a team of four dads will be taking part in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. Their aim is to encourage new registrations from 1.5 million people — the number of strokes it will take them to complete the 3,000-mile journey, hence their slogan of ‘We Row, You Register’ (#WeRowYouRegister).

Martini said: “We are basically asking people to swab their cheeks and join the register. It’s quick and easy to do, and 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.”

Team Margot was set up in 2015 by Martini in memory of his daughter, Margot, and to honour her legacy after she lost her battle with blood cancer, aged two. Margot was unable to find her perfect match. Anyone aged between 17 and 55, who is in general good health, can join the register via a simple swab test.

Pubs, bars and restaurants supporting Pinkspiration Week are encouraged to ‘Think Pink’ by offering a pink drinks list, having a Drink Pink Day, offering pink-inspired dishes, or putting team members in pink to help raise awareness.

List of registered donors is vital

Team Margot is supporting participating operators with a suite of downloadable assets, including copy and images for use in customer newsletters, posters, website banners and social media posts, all available from the website.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, said: “We are delighted to continue to support Pinkspiration Week to raise awareness of the importance of bone marrow donations.

“Less than a third of the people needing life-saving treatment can find a match within their immediate family, so increasing the number of people who are registered donors is vital. It really is very simple — register, swab and save a life.”

Martini said: “We are delighted with operators’ response to Pinkspiration Week so far, and confident that many more pubs, bars and restaurants will come on board. Those that have signed up say they’re pleased to support the initiative as it is fun, promotes a worthy cause that everyone can get behind — and doesn’t involve rattling a collecting tin at their customers!”

He added: “We’re encouraging operators to spread the word about stem cell registration not just to customers, but across their networks — to all their teams in outlets and at head office and up the supply chain. Community is what our industry excels at. The more people who go on the register, the better the chance that those who need treatment will find a match.

“If we can reach our target of adding 1.5 million people to the register, then up to 15,000 lives could potentially be saved.”

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