Huge thank you to blood donor champs

BLOOD donors who have saved the lives of hundreds of people have been honoured in a special awards ceremony.

The donors included Janice Gill, of St James Street, Westhoughton , who has given 100 donations — a milestone that only one per cent of all donors achieve.

The 55-year-old was presented with a crystal decanter at the awards ceremony, held by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) at The Monastery, in Gorton, Manchester.

Mrs Gill, a retired pharmacy technician, said: “I started giving blood to help others.

Giving an hour of your time helps save lives.”

She was joined by 45 blood donors from across the North West.

Four Bolton blood donors, David Barnes, Stephen Blyth, Kevan Butcher and Andrew Tonge, had completed 75 donations and were presented with a crystal plate. Mr Butcher, aged 69, has been giving blood for four decades.

The retired training manager, of Blackburn Road, Sharples , said: “I have kept giving over the years because it is important. It is a good thing to do, does not need a great deal of your time and it will be much appreciated.”

The awards were presented by 12-year-old Kitty Connaghan, whose life was saved by blood transfusions after she fell off her bike and suffered internal bleeding. Her mum, Kristy Connaghan, from Ashton-under-Lyne, said: “We just know that without the selfless donations from others then Kitty wouldn’t be with us and that is something we cannot begin to comprehend.

“The transfusions she received were life-saving and life-changing.”

About 7,000 units of blood are needed each day in England and Wales, in emergency situations and for patients undergoing surgery, and people receiving treatment for cancer and blood diseases. Up to three lives can be saved by one donation.

Barbara Blanche, from NHSBT, said: “The commitment that these blood donors have shown to donating blood throughout their lives is remarkable and we hope this inspires others.”

Anyone aged 17 or older and in good health can become a blood donor. Call 0300 1232323 or visit blood.co.u

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