Dedicated blood donor Stan Gray has helped to save scores of lives by giving more than 100 pints of blood.
Stan, 72, has rolled up his sleeves to give blood for almost 40 years.
He joined other donors from the area who had also reached the 100-pint milestone and were recognised by the health service at a ceremony held at Crathorne Hall in Yarm.
Stan, from Blackhall Colliery, said: “I’m very proud to have been a blood donor and to do something for the community and the area.”
He made his first donation of the red stuff in 1967 and has continued to attend donor sessions up to three times a year since.
“I saw an advert one day and thought it was a worthwhile thing to do,” said Stan.
I saw an advert one day and thought it was a worthwhile thing to doStan Gray
“I have given 103 donations in total and do three a year. Previously it was two a year that you could give.
“I have been to donor sessions all over the country. When I was working as a contractor I didn’t like to miss them, so I picked a session where I was working at the time and used to go.”
Stan and 16 other loyal donors from the region were presented with a certificate for their achievements and honoured with commemorative medals.
Amanda Eccles, senior marketing co-ordinator at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “These dedicated blood donors are very special to us, which is why this ceremony gives us the opportunity to say a real heartfelt thanks.
“Between them, they have saved thousands of lives, and improved the lives of countless others who have required blood transfusions. These donors are an inspiration to us all.”
Each blood donation can save up to three people’s lives meaning Stan has potentially helped to save or improve the lives of more than 300 patients.
The donor and transplant service says that out of the three per cent of the eligible population who give blood, just one per cent reaches 100 donations.
Anyone aged 17 to 66 should be able to give blood as long as you are in good general health and weigh over seven stone 12 lbs (50kg).
To book an appointment call the Donor Line on 0300 123 23 23 or visit www.blood.co.uk