One of the reasons why the National Sperm Bank is in Birmingham is because of its ethnic diversity. In fact, as Desmond Jaddoo told me at our first official meeting, “Birmingham is not diverse, it’s now classed as SUPERdiverse, and counts as many as 187 different nationalities.”
Realising that a city is diverse is one thing; knowing how to tap into these groups, these different cultures, this beautiful mixture of Brummies is quite another. It was therefore a total stroke of luck that I met Desmond on the day of the launch of the National Sperm Bank in the BBC Studio, both as guests of Pete Morgan. Realising the scale of the shortage of sperm donors in the BME community, he immediately committed to raising awareness within his large network.
Des and I met late last week at the Afro-Caribbean Millennium Centre (ACMC) to talk about this in greater detail, followed by a walkabout in Winson Green. We had long discussions how we could work together to reach out to sperm donors so patients in the UK BME community can create their families as well. At the moment, most non-caucasian patients end up on very long waiting lists or don’t get treated at all. A huge inequality and one that can only be addressed with help from within the community.
Des, thanks for all your support and insightful ideas. We look forward to working together with you and your team.
For added drama, this was filmed for an Austrian TV crew working on a documentary Future Baby, available later this year.