A Norwich theatrical group, which is currently preparing to stage its performance of Sweeney Todd, has shown its support for the Evening News’s New Blood campaign.

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Five members of the Norfolk and Norwich Operatic Society have signed up to become blood donors. The NHS Blood and Transplant mascot, Billy Blood Drop paid a visit to the group’s rehearsal this week to help raise awareness.

Jospeh Betts, 23, who lives in the Heartsease Estate, was one of those who signed up to save a life. Mr Betts, who works as a cashier at Barclays, said: “I am blessed with a great family and friends and thought it was about time I did something for other people. It’s one of those things that people talk about but don’t actually get around to doing. I should have done this a few years ago.”

The Evening News is trying to recruit 750 people to sign up to become blood donors throughout December. Operatic society chairman David Pulling said: “Our performance of Sweeney Todd is not a horror, it’s a Victorian melodrama. It’s very black and there’s some throat-cutting. We thought it would be a good idea to give some blood back to the community.”

Niamh Church, a committee member, who has donated more than 70 units of blood, said: “I started donating blood on my 18th birthday. I have always donated, even when I was living overseas.”

The society will perform Sweeney Todd at the Norwich Theatre Royal from February 4-9. Tickets from the box office on 01603 630000 or online at www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk

For more information about how to join the blood donor register and where to donate, visit www.eveningnews24.co.uk

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