By Ian Dipple 13/08 Updated: 15/08 16:48
A GROUP of dedicated blood donors from Redditch have been recognised for rolling up their sleeves to help save lives.
Between them the 11 donors have given blood more than 900 times, potentially helping to save the lives of over 2,500 people.
They were honoured for their dedication at a recent awards ceremony at the Bromsgrove Hilton held by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT).
Among them were Elisabeth Grove and Peter James who received a crystal decanter for notching up an amazing 100 donations, with Mrs Grove topping 160 donations. It is a landmark only one per cent of all blood donors reach.
The 63-year-old learning support assistant at New College has been giving blood for about 30 years.
"I thought about it for some time then one day saw a sticker in a car window and I called to find out where to go. My husband collapsed with a bleeding ulcer in 2,000 and needed four units of blood urgently. I was very grateful to the donors and it reinforced my determination to carry on paying into the blood bank."
Robert Bullock, Richard Caley, James Campion, Paul Grogan, Philip Hemming, Jeremy Jones, George Judd, Mary Last and John Park were presented with crystal plates after reaching the 75 donation milestone.
Mr James, aged 65 and who started giving four decades ago, added: "A work colleague challenged me back in 1969. He bet that I wouldn’t attend a session. Forty three years later I’m still attending. I hope to achieve 125 donations."
Shai Mistry, lead donor relations manager at NHSBT, said: "The commitment these blood donors have shown to donating blood throughout their lives is remarkable and we hope this inspires others to follow.
"Blood has a limited shelf life of 35 days for red blood cells and just seven days for platelets. Because of this, it is vital that both existing and new blood donors come forward now, so we can ensure that vital supplies of blood are available for the patients that need them over the summer months."
Although donations have dropped off during the Olympic Games, a drive to boost levels before the event began meant the service has coped with demand. But donors are being urged to keep giving throughout August until the end of the Paralympics in September.
Anyone aged over 17 and in general good health can give blood. Visit www.blood.co.uk to book an appointment for more information or call 0300 123 23 23.
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