Wednesday, December 5, 2012
More than 7,000 blood donations are needed every single day of the year.
Each blood donation can help save up to three lives after it is separated into three components – red cells, platelets and plasma.
But blood only has a short shelf life – red cells last 35 days and platelets last for just a week so the demand for donors is constant.
Adam Davies, 17, gave his first blood donation with his mum, Dawn, and cousin, Jess London.
Adam, who goes to sixth form at Sprowston High School, said: “I found out a week or two ago that my mum was planning to give blood with my cousin and I thought it would be a good thing to do.”
Adam, of Wilks Farm Drive, Sprowston, said he thought it would hurt.
“I felt a bit funny half way through but otherwise it was fine,” he said. “My mum has donated 14 times but she had a break for seven years because she had to have some operations.
“More people should give blood. It doesn’t hurt at all and it’s all for a good cause.”
His cousin, Jess London, who lives in Hellesdon, said she was inspired to give blood after she joined the organ donor register.
“I joined as soon as I could. My aunt gives blood and I thought I would, too.
“It was definitely less scary than I thought it would be and it didn’t hurt. I will definitely do it again.”
Jess, who works as an apprentice receptionist, added: “You have got to put yourself in the position of someone who needs blood.
“If you give blood you can help to save a life.”
Lauren Strong, 22, also signed up become a blood donor for the first time.
Lauren, who has just moved back to Norwich after travelling around Europe for a year, decided to sign up after hearing about how low blood stocks could fall over Christmas.
“I called and made an appointment, it was all really quick,” she said.
“It’s important that people give blood because there’s a great need for it.
“A small amount of blood is taken and it’s just an hour out of your day so why not?”
She said people don’t give blood because they are afraid of needles but the younger age group have often had blood tests and vaccinations.
“If they can give blood when they have a test then they can surely give a little more.”
Seventy-year-old Rodney Sheldon has spent a majority of his life being a blood donor.
Mr Sheldon, who lives in Jessopp Road, has clocked up 108 donations since he started donating blood aged 24.
“I used to work at Mann Baker and I started talking to a man who used to give blood but had to stop.
“He said I should give it a go so I signed up.”
He said ten minutes of his time was a small price to pay for helping to save someone’s life.
Mr Sheldon, who has three children and eight grandchildren, added: “It’s something which I just fit into my life, it doesn’t take much time.”
Shaun Hawkins, 21, was inspired to donate blood after his brother needed a transfusion.
“I started to give blood as soon as I could,” said Mr Hawkins, who lives in Norwich.
“I thought it would be a good thing to do seeing as my brother had three blood transfusions but I think I would give it anyway.”
The personal trainer, who has clocked up nine donations, added that it did not hurt and that the cells soon regenerated.
Peter Weavers, 60, who works at County Hall, has clocked up nearly 60 donations since he signed up to become a blood donor when he was a student.
“They came to my college when I was in Newcastle and I have been lucky in that wherever I have worked, the blood service have visited my employer.
“I know that all of the blood people give can be used and is beneficial,” the father-of-two said.
He praised the blood service’s staff and facilities.
Mr Weavers, who lives in Stoke Holy Cross, with his wife, Lesley, added: “It is a minimum inconvenience.
“It’s good to contribute and do your bit.
“I would encourage everyone to do it, it makes a real difference.”
His said his son and his fiancee are both blood donors.