AS part of Local Newspaper Week, the Mail’s Callum’s Dream campaign has been recognised as one of the best 30 editorial campaigns across the UK under the slogan Making a Difference.
In a series running throughout the week, we are looking back at some of our other campaigns that have made a significant difference in the local community.
Today we turn back time to December 2012 when the Mail launched the Mine’s a Pint campaign in a bid to halt the rapid decline in young blood donors in the town.
BRAVE Jack Wood is living proof of the lifesaving role of blood donors.
Hit by a taxi as he walked to school a little over two years ago, Jack came within moments of losing a leg.
Six operations and four blood transfusions later and the 19-year-old who lives on the Headland said: “If it wasn’t for those people who give blood I wouldn’t be here today.”
At the same time as Jack’s lucky escape, the NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) team revealed worrying figures in relation to the number of donors in the town and the concerning annual decline in 17-24 year olds signing up to the register.
Just 172 young people signed up as donors in 2012 – the fifth consecutive year the number had dropped.
The Mail launched Mine’s a Pint in partnership with NHSBT in an effort to halt that decline – and the campaign had an immediate effect.
Two-hundred-and-fifty people signed up to the blood donor register in the first six weeks of last year and 100 of those were aged 17-24.
It took five-and-a-half months to attract that many new donors the previous year.
And only yesterday, an NHSBT spokeswoman revealed 618 new donors have signed up in the last 12 months in the town, of which 255 were young people.
There are now 2,127 registered donors in Hartlepool.
“It’s clear to see that since the Hartlepool Mail launched the campaign we’ve seen an increase in donors in the town, especially in the 17-24 age category which is absolutely fantastic,” said the spokeswoman.
“Now we need to make sure we don’t get complacent, the message is out there and it’s fantastic we’ve had such a great response in Hartlepool, we need to continue to build on that and ensure we replace all of those donors who fall out of the system for one reason or another and to make sure that our new donors who sign up to the register go along to the sessions.”
The Mail regularly runs reminders of upcoming donor sessions in Hartlepool and East Durham as well as details on how to sign up to the register.
Meanwhile, Jack, who made a full recovery, is now studying at Hartlepool College of Further Education while working part time at Hartlepool United.
He said: “I’m just so grateful to everyone who gives blood and I would give my backing to any campaign which aims to get even more donors.
“More donors results in more saved lives.”
To sign up as a donor visit www.blood.co.uk or call 0300 1232323.