EXTRA blood donor sessions have been laid on as NHS chiefs guard against a potential fall in supplies.
Bosses fear that if severe winter weather makes a return this year blood donations could fall by as much as 20 per cent.
And NHS Blood and Transplant is concerned that donors may forget appointments during the busy run-up to Christmas.
However, hospitals rely on blood donations for patients receiving life-saving cancer treatment, surgery and emergency care.
Lead Donor Relations Manager for the National Blood Service Darren Bowen said: “The arctic conditions across the local area last winter presented severe challenges for the blood supply, yet donors made heroic efforts to reach donation sessions.
“We are now calling on our regular donors to show warm hearts by helping to save lives and making a date to donate this Christmas.”
Sessions will be held at Storey Park Community Centre in Morpeth on Sunday, from 10.30am to 1pm and from 2.30pm to 4.30pm, and on Friday, December 16 and Friday, December 30 from 1.30pm to 4pm, and from 4.45pm to 7pm, each day.
There will also be provision at Druridge Bay Community Centre in Hadston on Monday, December 19, from 2.30pm to 4pm and from 4.45pm to 6.45pm.
Anyone aged between 17 and 65, weighing more than 50kg (7 stone 12lbs) and in general good health could potentially become a blood donor. There is no upper age limit for people who have donated in the last two years.
For more information, or to book an appointment, call 0300 123 2323 or visit www.blood.co.uk