Students at the Norwich School showed their support for the Evening News and EDP New Blood campaign when 20 teenagers signed up to become donors.

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More than 100 sixth form students listened to a talk yesterday by the NHS blood and transplant service where they found out how they could sign up to help save a life.

Rebecca Cadman signed up to be a blood donor after learning more about what the process involves.

“I didn’t know much about it before,” she said. “My mum donated and fainted, so I always thought it would be a bit scary, but I decided to sign up because it’s a good cause.”

The 17-year-old, who lives in Booton, near Reepham, said she wanted to sign up after she found out how much blood was needed by hospitals every day.

So far this year, registrations from those aged 17 and 18 are down 50pc on last year.

Will Everden, who is in year 13, also signed up to the blood donor register. He said: “I am already an organ donor so I thought it would be a good thing to do and I know how important it is to the NHS. When I found out how much blood they needed I was shocked.”

The 18-year-old, who lives in Swanton Abbott, near North Walsham, said he also planned to sign up to become a bone marrow donor.

A total of 40pc of blood donors are aged between 17 and 24.

Jamie Mather, 17, who lives in Stoke Holy Cross, said: “I signed up to be a blood donor over the summer.

“Both my mum and my dad are blood donors, so I had been to sessions before and I thought it would be a good thing to do.

“It’s a bit nerve racking at first, but it was fine and it didn’t hurt.

“I am definitely going to carry on doing it.”

The students found out what happens to blood once it has been donated and heard about some of the most severe case studies involving blood transfusions.

Eighteen-year-old Josh Brewer, from Thorpe End, said: “I thought it would be a good thing to sign up. My dad donates blood but my mum can’t because she had a transfusion when she needed surgery. It was interesting to hear how much blood is needed – they get through quite a lot. The more people who sign up the better – they need a lot of blood.”

More than 7,000 units of blood are needed at 400 hospitals every day.

Georgina Norris, donor relations co-ordinator for NHS blood and transplant, said the service was constantly relying on donations from new people.

“It’s important to sign people up when they are young because hopefully they will continue to give blood when they go away to university and then throughout their adult lives.

“We had a good response from the Norwich School and quite a few students who didn’t sign up took forms away.”

Will Croston, careers and higher education adviser at the school, said that it was important for youngsters to donate blood so they could give something back to the local community.

“It’s very important that they learn to help others,” he said. “If you can save a life then you should. I am a blood donor and the head of sixth form, Craig Cooper, has donated around eight times.

“For the past five years we have had someone from the blood service come into the school and talk to the students about giving blood and it always gets a good response.”

The EDP and Evening News are running a campaign throughout December to recruit 750 new blood donors.

Blood stocks fall during the winter months when people are busy preparing for Christmas and enjoying the bank holidays.

Just 4pc of the eligible population are active blood donors, yet, to meet the never-ending demand for blood, more than 7,000 donations a day are needed, every day of the year. It is essential to book an appointment before you attend a session to save time and to ensure you are eligible to donate.

Call 0300 123 23 23 to sign up and if you do, let us know. Call Lucy Wright on 01603 772439 or lucy.wright@archant.co.uk

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