Dedicated blood donors from Northumberland have been recognised by NHS Blood and Transplant for their loyalty and commitment.
The life-saving efforts of 26 people from across the North East, who had collectively made 3,078 donations, were honoured with commemorative medals during the ceremony, which took place at Lumley Castle in Durham.
The contingent from Northumberland, which included James Grey, Steven Dent, David Butler, Marjorie Chambers and Ronald Hush, have saved or improved up to 1,974 lives between them.
Each blood donation can save the lives of up to three people. If a donor has given blood 100 times, they have potentially helped save or improve the lives of up to 300 patients.
Out of the four per cent of the eligible population who give blood, just one per cent reaches 100 donations.
Guest speaker at the ceremony was Joanne Liddle. The 40-year-old’s daughter Nicole received a life-saving platelet transfusion shortly after birth after developing a rash and becoming unwell.
It was later discovered that Nicole was a NAIT baby, which is a blood related disease that affects newborns and can cause brain damage or death.
Joanne said: “Donors are amazing. They give up precious time and do something that has such a significant impact on individuals and families.
“It saved my daughter’s life and I now have a happy and healthy three-year-old who brightens the lives of all those she encounters – life simply wouldn’t be the same without her.”
In general, as long as you are fit and healthy, weigh over seven stone 12lbs (50kg) and are aged between 17 and 66 (up to 70 if you have given blood before), you should be able to give blood.
If you are over 70, you need to have given blood in the last two years to continue donating.
To book an appointment, call the Donor Line on 0300 1232323 or visit www.blood.co.uk