Top accolades for dedicated blood donors who both help to save lives

Blood donors Gordon Downing (left) and Peter Hall (right) celebrate their life-saving achievements with David Copes.
Blood donors Gordon Downing (left) and Peter Hall (right) celebrate their life-saving achievements with David Copes.

Two dedicated blood donors from Beverley have been rewarded for helping to save lives.

Gordon Downing received a crystal decanter at a recent awards ceremony for an amazing 100 donations of blood.

Any donor who has given blood 100 times has potentially helped save the lives of up to 300 patients in local hospitals.

Only one percent of all blood donors reach the milestone of 100 donations. Another Beverley donor, Peter Hall, was presented with a crystal plate for making 75 donations of blood.

Mr Downing (66), has been giving blood for 45 years. A retired agricultural merchant, he started giving blood after seeing a local advertisement and has been donating for 45 years.

He said: “Helping other people has kept me giving over the years. People always need blood and this is a simple and painless way of helping other people.”

Mr Hall (73), a retired welder who worked at BAE Brough, has been a blood donor since October 1967. He said: “I saw an advertisement at work asking for blood donors. People need it, so I’ve kept donating.”

The awards were held by NHS Blood and Transplant at the Royal York Hotel.

They were presented by grateful Yorkshire blood recipient David Copes. Mr Copes needed 40 units of blood after receiving horrific injuries in a motorcycle accident near Leeds.

The 60-year-old, of South Elmsall near Pontefract, broke his neck, back, pelvis, both legs, foot, jaw, collar bone and hand in the crash, along with sustaining serious injuries to his kidneys, bladder, liver and lungs.

The father of five spent six months in hospital after the accident in 2007. He is still not fully recovered but helps NHS Blood and Transplant to promote blood donation and recruit new donors.

The donors were joined by others from across Yorkshire, with around 30 donors being recognised for their dedication.

Donna Batty, lead donor relations manager at NHSBT, said: “The commitment that these blood donors have shown to donating blood throughout their lives is remarkable and we hope this inspires others to follow.

“Blood has a limited shelf life of 35 days for red blood cells and just seven days for platelets.

Because of this, it is vital that both existing and new blood donors come forward now, so we can ensure that vital supplies of blood are available for the patients that need them over the coming months.”

Donated blood is usesd not only in accident and emergency situations, but also for patients undergoing surgery and receiving teatment for cancer and blood diseases, such as leukaemia.

Currently, 7,000 units of blood are needed every day to help save the lives of sick and injured patients across England and North Wales.

Anyone aged over 17 and in general good health could potentially start saving lives by becoming a blood donor. For details of sessions, or to book an appointment, ring 0300 1232323 or visit www.blood.co.uk.