County donors help smash blood-giving target

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People in Northamptonshire have been thanked for their role in making a national campaign to increase the number of blood donors a success.

NHS Blood and Transplant had aimed to make up a shortfall in new blood donors by recruiting 100,000 new donors in 100 days – and the target was smashed two weeks early.

The campaign was launched following a dramatic decline in the number of younger donors signing up in 2012.

A total of 1,797 people from Northamptonshire joined in the run up to Valentine’s Day, helping to ensure future blood stocks are protected.

Jon Latham, assistant director for marketing at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported the 100,000 new donors in 100 days campaign. It is fantastic that we exceeded the target and people signed up with such enthusiasm and hopefully any new registrants who haven’t got around to donating will do so soon.

“This campaign has helped to tackle the drop in new young donors from the summer and we are now looking ahead. We rely on new blood donors to keep coming forward as we need more than 1,000 new registrations every day to replace those donors who can no longer donate.”

Young people are vital to the blood service, with 17 to 24-year-olds accounting for around 40 per cent of new donors each year. New donors are essential to blood donation to keep donor levels stable.

Hollyoaks stars launched the “100,000 New Donors in 100 Days” campaign by modelling limited edition t-shirts created by Red or Dead founder Wayne Hemingway. The celebrity endorsements continued on social media with the likes of Jack Whitehall, Amanda Holden, Joe Dempsie and Saira Khan encouraging their Twitter followers to sign up.

Max Mondryk, from boyband Reconnected, which is currently supporting Little Mix on tour, was inspired by the appeal to make his first ever blood donation. Max said: “Donating blood was absolutely fine. I’d recommend it to anyone and you feel great afterwards as you just know that you have done something good and you get free biscuits!”

Anyone aged between 17 and 65, weighing more than 50kg (7st 12lb) and in general good health could potentially start saving lives by becoming a blood donor. There is no upper age limit for donors who have donated in the last two years.

To find out if you are eligible to become a blood donor and make a date to donate, visit www.blood.co.uk or call us on 0300 123 23 23.