New Blood campaign: Readers answer call to help save lives

More than 300 people have already joined the New Blood campaign being run by the Norwich Evening News – committing to saving the lives of at least 300 people.

In the first nine days of December, a fantastic 319 people have committed to give blood through the New Blood campaign.

But that is just the start.

We want 750 new donors to commit to giving blood this December.

The campaign, which is being run in conjunction with NHS Blood and Transplant, is needed as blood stocks fall during the winter months, when people are busy preparing for Christmas and enjoying the bank holidays.

Each one of the new donors who goes along to their local donation session and gives blood will then be able to walk away with the satisfaction of knowing their donation could save a life.

However, each donation can potentially save the lives of up to three people.

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It has been a great start to the campaign but we need even more readers to take the first step and sign up to be a blood donor.

Derek Carr, lead donor relations manager for NHS Blood and Transplant in the east of England region, said: 'We have seen a brilliant response to the New Blood, Help Save a Life This Christmas campaign so far – 300 new donors in nine days is a huge leap towards our challenging target.

'Thank you to everyone who has signed up and pledged to give blood – you have just made the first step in giving the gift of life. We are also grateful to all those donors who have come forward and donated this month.'

Just 4pc of the country's eligible population are active blood donors and to meet the demand for blood more than 7,000 donations are needed every day of the year.

Mr Carr continued: 'Whether you are a new donor or a regular donor, your gift of life has helped to ensure blood stocks are healthy as we move towards the festive period.

'However, we still need hundreds more people to follow this example and pledge to roll their sleeves up. The campaign is all about making sure we have enough donors in the future so please sign up – even if you are pledging to give a donation next month, we still need you to sign up now.'

It is essential to book an appointment before you attend a session, to save time and ensure you are eligible to donate.

If you have questions about giving blood, go along to The Forum in Norwich tomorrow, between 9am and 4pm, to speak to NHS Blood and Transplant staff, who will be on a recruitment drive for the New Blood campaign.