Give the gift of blood this Christmas
- Credit: PA
People across Norfolk are being encouraged to find the time to give the gift of blood this Christmas and potentially help save up to three lives.
Last year in the week before Christmas, around one in four appointments to give blood were cancelled by donors at too short notice and one in 10 people simply failed to turn up for their appointment altogether across England and Wales.
Now, in a bid to prevent the same happening again this year and in anticipation of a pre-Christmas slump in the number of donations NHS Blood and Transplant are urging donors to keep their appointments to give blood in November and December.
In Norfolk there are more than 19,000 active blood donors who have donated blood within the last year. Every-year the NHS needs to collect 1.4m units of blood to meet the needs of patients across England, who require transfusions for the treatment of cancer, a blood condition, surgery, childbirth or as the result of an accident.
The NHS are asking donors in the county who need to cancel an appointment to give at least three days' notice so the slot can be given to someone else. Donors who can't find a suitable appointment at their usual venue are being asked to keep checking as last-minute cancellations means slots can become available at short notice.
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Mike Stredder, director of blood donation for NHS Blood and Transplant said: 'We need to collect blood throughout November and December to build up stocks in time for Christmas.
'Demand for lifesaving blood doesn't stop for Christmas. But stock levels can drop dramatically if too many donor appointments go missed or unfilled.
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'We know that donations slump and missed appointments rise in the middle of December and the cold weather forecast could make the situation worse.
'We need our loyal donors more than ever at this time of year, to make sure hospitals have the blood that seriously ill children and adults will need over Christmas and the new year. Each donation can save up to three lives.'
To make, view and change donation appointments call 0300 123 23 23 or visit www.blood.co.uk. New donors are being asked to register and then book an appointment to donate in the new year.
Where to donate blood in Norfolk
· Norwich Mecure, 121-131 Boundary Road, Norwich, NR3 2BA- November 28
· Diss Rugby Football Club, Bellrope Lane, Roydon, Diss, IP22 5RG - December 4
· Norwich Mecure, 121-131 Boundary Road, Norwich, NR3 2BA- December 5
·Dereham Memorial Hall, Norwich Street, Dereham, NR19 1AD – December 6
·North Walsham The Community Centre, New Road, North Walsham, NR28 9DE – December 13
·Acle War Memorial, Bridewell Lane, Acle, Norwich, NR13 3RA- December 17
·Long Stratton Hempnall Village Hall, Bungay Road, Hempnall, Norwich, NR15 2NG – December 17
·Diss Rugby Football Club, Bellrope Lane, Roydon, Diss, IP22 5RG –December 18
·The Kings Centre, 30 Queens Annes Road, Great Yarmouth, NR31 0LE – December 19
·Hopton Village Hall, Station Road, Hopton, Great Yarmouth, NR31 9BH December 21
·The Guildhall Complex, Cage Lane, Thetford, IP24 2DS- December 24