Teen spirit!

Blood donor Nicholas Lyons
Blood donor Nicholas Lyons

TEENAGE blood donors encouraged other young people to sign up as they got behind the Mail’s Make Mine A Pint campaign.

Dozens of donors drained a vein during a busy session held at Hartlepool Town Hall Theatre yesterday.

The Mail has teamed up with NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) in a bid to boost the numbers of young donors.

Among those giving blood yesterday was first-time donor Charlotte Quarmby from Hart village.

The 19-year-old who works at Mill House Leisure Centre, in Hartlepool, said: “Friends have done it and my gran gave blood for most of her life.

“I am scared of needles and blood but it’s nothing really. I just didn’t look.

“It is a good cause and I would do it again.”

Also giving blood was Nicholas Lyons, 19, of West Park, Hartlepool.

Nicholas, who is studying at Oxford University, said: “I’ve given blood a few times before since I turned 18.

“There is no real reason why anyone shouldn’t give blood.

“It is really easy to organise and doesn’t take a lot of time.

“It’s clearly a good idea. You know you are doing something good for somebody out there.”

Just 172 people in the 17-24 age group signed up to give blood last year.

It continued a worrying trend which has seen the amount of young donors in Hartlepool drop for the last five years.

But it isn’t just young people who are needed to give blood and save lives.

The NHSBT need to recruit 225,000 new people to replace existing donors who drop out of the system every year.

Jennifer O’Brien, NHS Blood and Transplant staff nurse, said yesterday’s session was a success.

“It is always well attended,” she said.

“Hartlepool is a good area to come to and we always get a good response.

“We get quite a few young people come from the sixth form college which is good but more would be better.

“The amount of young people enrolling has been going down. People don’t have the time or don’t know where we are.

“We are doing everything we can to encourage young people because they are the blood donors of the future.”

The blood donation team will return to the Town Hall Theatre, Raby Road, Hartlepool, on Thursday, January 17, from 2pm-3.45pm and again from 4.30pm-7.15pm.