Blood donors receive commitment awards

Left to right, 75th award recipient Mr Malcolm Grinstead, of Shoreham, 75th award recipient Mrs Christine Read, of Shoreham, Darren Bowen, regional donor contact manager for NHS Blood and Transplant, and 100th award recipient Mr Colin Burt, of Southwick

Left to right, 75th award recipient Mr Malcolm Grinstead, of Shoreham, 75th award recipient Mrs Christine Read, of Shoreham, Darren Bowen, regional donor contact manager for NHS Blood and Transplant, and 100th award recipient Mr Colin Burt, of Southwick

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BLOOD donors from Shoreham and Southwick, who have saved thousands of lives between them, have been recognised for their loyalty and commitment to helping others.

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) honoured the lifesaving efforts of 120 blood donors from across East and West Sussex with crystal awards at a ceremony at The Grand Hotel in Brighton, last month. Between them, the donors have given more than 9,575 units of blood.

Southwick donor Colin Burt and Shoreham donor Susan Cruickshanks received awards for 100 donations.

Mrs Cruickshanks, who started donating when she was 18, said: “I wanted to know what it was like to donate, then I just kept going. A friend needed a blood transfusion after giving birth. It is nice to feel you are helping someone. It doesn’t take long and it doesn’t hurt.”

Other donors from Shoreham were Mr Malcolm Grinstead and Mrs Christine Read, who each received their 75th award.

With each blood donation potentially saving the lives of up to three people, a donor who has given blood 75 times could have helped save the lives of up to 225 patients.

Out of the four per cent of the eligible population who give blood, only three per cent ever manage to reach 75 donations and just one per cent reach 100.

John Canning, lead donor relations manager for NHS Blood and Transplant in Sussex, said: “Sometimes you forget how much of a difference giving blood can make to people’s lives.

“Ceremonies like this allow us to say a massive thank-you to all the donors that take time out of their busy lives to do something life saving on a regular basis. These donors are an inspiration to us all and we hope that they continue donating and saving the lives of many more people.”

Anyone wanting to donate for the first time should be aged between 17-65, weighing at least 50 kg (7stone 12lbs) and in general good health. People who have donated before can start again up to their 70th birthday, while there is no upper age limit for donors who have donated in the last two years.

To find out about becoming a blood donor and make a date to donate, visit www.blood.co.uk or call 0300 123 23 23.