Give the gift of blood this winter

John Waite looks on as Andrew Tighe gives blood. Picture by FRANK REID
John Waite looks on as Andrew Tighe gives blood. Picture by FRANK REID

SIGN up and save lives this Christmas.

That’s the plea from blood donor bosses who are urging residents to give blood this festive period and provide those in need with a must-have gift.

November through to the New Year is typically the most challenging time for blood stocks with hospitals across England and north Wales needing up to half a million units of blood to see them through the period.

But donor bosses say with Christmas shopping and the general Christmas rush twinned with the extended public holidays, taking the time to give blood can often slip off people’s to-do list.

Now, on the back of the Mail’s Mine’s a Pint campaign which has seen an increase in the number of blood donors in Hartlepool, people are being urged to sign up and give blood over the coming weeks.

Donna Batty, NHS Blood and Transplant’s (NHSBT) lead donor relations manager for the North East, said: “This is an extremely challenging time of year for us as we need to make sure that hospitals are supplied with the blood they need to treat patients over the Christmas holidays.

“So while people are in a generous frame of mind, we’re asking that they don’t forget those whose must-have gift is blood.

“Donating doesn’t cost a penny and saves lives, meaning many more children and adults can spend precious time with their families over Christmas.”

A unit of blood has a shelf life of 35 days and hospitals need around 7,000 units of blood every day to treat patients in urgent need.

If you’re 17 and over and in general good health you can sign up to become a donor by visiting or calling 0300 123 23 23.

While all donors are important, 0 Rh negative and B Rh negative blood donors are particularly needed.