Aylsham man is awarded for lifesaving milestone after giving blood 100 times

What began as an occasional opportunity to enjoy an afternoon break from his Army base has turned into an accustomed lifelong habit for Martin Woodhouse.

The Aylsham resident was in the middle of his National Service and is his early 20s when he nipped off camp to give blood for the first time.

But more than 50 years later he has been awarded for his 100th donation.

The 73-year-old was presented with a crystal decanter by NHS staff during his regular donation session at Aylsham town hall today to commemorate his remarkable achievement.

Mr Woodhouse, from Soame Close, said: 'When I was doing my National Service I went to give my first donation because that was a good way of getting off camp, having the afternoon free and getting a cup of coffee and a biscuit and talking to someone who wasn't in khaki.'

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After completing his National Service, work and domestic commitments meant the former telecommunications and electronics engineer had to take a six year break from making donations, but since then he has 'continuously' gone to sessions and gives blood three times a year.

His count now stands at 105 but he said he had no intention of stopping and encouraged others to give blood, as through his role with the Norfolk and Norwich group of Advanced Motorists he knows how vital donations are.

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Mr Woodhouse said: 'I have been with them for many years and because of that I see the carnage that happens out on the roads and the desperate need we have to pump red liquid people to keep them alive, so that focuses my mind on why we do need it.'

'If you're unsure come along to a session, meet the ladies and gentlemen who work here and talk to one or two of the donors. I feel very much friends with the people who take the blood and I will carry on as long as they want it and as long as I'm able to,' he added.

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