Feature: Ten minutes of your time can help save three people’s lives - give blood

Selina Charles, senior marketing coordinator NHS Blood and Transport, east region.

Selina Charles, senior marketing coordinator NHS Blood and Transport, east region. - Credit: Archant

I’ve always been nagged to give blood.

Layth Yousif gives blood

Layth Yousif gives blood - Credit: Archant

My mum’s been donating for years, I’ve been told by friends that I should and yet I’ve never got round to it.

I signed up, made half hearted attempts to book an appointment and then forgot all about it.

But then the bloodmobile -–yes, that is really what they call it – parked up outside the Comet and Royston Crow’s offices in Stevenage on Thursday and there was no escape.

After being rejected at the first hurdle – because I hadn’t eaten a big enough breakfast -– I climbed back onto the bus and gave blood for the first time.

Helen Wright gives blood

Helen Wright gives blood - Credit: Archant

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I felt I should make a donation to give something back as my family has taken their fair share.

Over the past five years my mum’s had a kidney transplant and lost a big toe and half a leg to diabetes.

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Other people’s blood helped keep her alive in her hours of need, and she might not still be here today if they hadn’t.

So it was with this in mind that I watched my blood flow through the tubes, hoping it will save the lives of other people’s mums, dads, sisters and brothers.

James Scott gives blood

James Scott gives blood - Credit: Archant

But more people need to sign up and donate because, according to Selina Charles from NHS Blood and Transplant, there is a shortage.

The senior marketing co-ordinator for the east region told the Comet and Crow: “A lot of people do it just because they want to give something back.

“We are at a low at the moment due - it being just after Christmas.

“It is just after Christmas and maybe sessions slip people’s minds so we are trying to boost stock.

“But just one pint can go on to potentially help three people, so it really is worthwhile.”

In total staff at the Comet, Crow and Lloyds Bank, who also work in Bank House, donated 26 pints of blood which could go on to be given to as many as 78 patients.

Speaking about the day’s drive, she added: “I think it has been great.

“It was organised at short notice in the last two weeks, but everyone was really friendly and helpful.

“I think it has been a successful session.”

Anyone over the age of 17, as long as they are in good health, can donate blood.

Men can donate more regularly than women – up to four times every 12 months – while women are advised to do so every 16 weeks.

Giving blood doesn’t hurt and will only take an hour of your day, with plenty of biscuits as a reward to enjoy afterwards.

We always hope – and I certainly assume – that should an accident occur there would be the blood available to the doctors trying to save my life.

But blood donations are something they can’t control – but you can. So sign up today and help save a life.

Donor sessions take place regularly all over the county, with Chells Park Pavilion in Stevenage hosting a date tomorrow, Friday, from 9.30am to 12.30pm and 2-4pm.

To find your nearest session visit www.blood.co.uk where you can also register and make an appointment.

Alternatively you can call 0300 123 23 23 to book a time, although many sessions do allow you to walk in on the day.

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