FOUR blood donors from North Tyneside have been honoured for rolling up their sleeves and supporting the cause.
Ian Anderson and Ronald Clements were recognised by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) for reaching more than 75 blood donations each, while Tim Flood and Philip Jackson were honoured for both hitting the 100 mark.
Statistics show that only around four per cent of the eligible population give blood, with only two per cent ever reaching 75 donations and one per cent 100 donations.
The donors were each presented with either a commemorative crystal plate or decanter to mark their achievements during a ceremony at Beamish Hall Hotel in County Durham.
Between the four local donors they may have helped save more than a thousand lives over the years.
Mr Flood, 60, has first-hand experience of how vital donated blood can be.
His son Toby plays rugby union for England and Leicester, and he received a life-saving transfusion in his early teens after rupturing his spleen on the field
The programming and marketing manager has been a blood donor for 35 years and also donates platelets – the clotting agents in blood.
He said: “Just think of the difference you can make.”
Mr Clements, from Whitley Bay, said he has kept donating for half a century to help others who need his blood more than he does.
“I can replace it,” the 68-year-old retired mechanical engineer said.
And Mr Jackson, from Tynemouth, is 74 and has been giving blood for almost 50 years after first donating while in the RAF.
NHSBT spokesperson Donna Batty said: “It’s wonderful that we can call on people like our donors who have dedicated themselves to giving blood over so many years, performing a life-saving role for no reward, other than the knowledge that they are helping others.”
To become one of the life-savers of the future, make an appointment to attend a local session either by calling 0300 123 2323 or visiting www.blood.co.uk
Ms Batty added: “Every year many existing donors in our region have to stop giving blood due to factors like ill-health and medication, so in order to maintain blood stocks, we constantly need new donors.
“We welcome new donors aged from 17 to 65 and there is no upper age limit for existing donors.”
Anyone wanting to donate for the first time should be aged between 17-65, weighing at least 50 kg (7 stone 12lbs) and in general good health.
If you’ve donated before, you can start again up to your 70th birthday and there is no upper age limit for donors who have donated in the last two years.