DEDICATED blood donors from Battle, Rye and Icklesham were among 68 people from the South East of England awarded for their selfless efforts after saving or improving the lives of more than 17,700 patients between them.
Blood donors from Sussex, Surrey, Kent and London were recognised by NHS Blood and Transplant for their loyalty and commitment to blood donation at an awards ceremony at the Croydon Park Hotel, Croydon, last week.
Honoured with crystal awards at the ceremony, each blood donor potentially saved the lives of up to three people with each donation they made.
If a donor has given blood 75 times they have potentially 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.
Among the donors recognised for reaching this milestone was Terence Harvey of Rye.
Other awardees included married couple Keith and Sharon Sellens of Icklesham and John Kemp of Battle, all of whom had hit 75 donations.
John Canning, lead donor relations manager for East Anglia at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We are proud to reward these incredible people, these silent heroes, who have rolled up their sleeves so many times over the years to help save lives.
“Becoming a regular blood donor takes commitment and shows compassion. We need around 200,000 new registrations every year to replace those donors who can no longer donate so we hope that the stories of these dedicated doors will inspire new donors to come forward and sign up.”
Blood donors were also able to hear first hand how life changing blood can be from guest speaker Jeremy Bover, whose daughter Georgina received vital blood transfusions as part of her treatment for a rare kidney cancer.
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. There is no upper age limit for donors who have donated in the last two years. Book an appointment on 0300 123 23 23 or visit www.blood.co.uk