Dedicated Northants donor hits 100th blood donation milestone at the age of 60

For more than 40 years, Steve has donated blood as often as he is allowed to

A man who travels all over Northamptonshire to give blood, has reached the milestone of his 100th donation.

Steve Dines, from Billing, started giving blood three months after he turned 18, back in 1977 when donations could only be made once every six months.

After more than 40 years, and rule changes that mean men can now give blood once every 12 weeks, Steve, who is a retired chef and publican, donated his 100th pint of blood at Irchester Village Hall yesterday (April 1).

Steve Dines after he had just completed his 100th blood donation.

The 60-year-old said: “I had a friend a little bit older than me who donated blood. She took me to the Guildhall when I was 18 and I’ve been doing it ever since.

“I take it for granted now, but I do know I’m helping people. It just forms part of my life.

“I certainly don’t feel any worse for wear after doing it and I’ve never thought ‘I can’t do this anymore’.”

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the national lockdown, Steve and many other donors across the country are still allowed to donate as long as they are well.

Steve, who also donated bone marrow two years ago, added: “We were all screened and asked if we’d had any contact with anyone who had symptoms or needed to self isolate.

“Once we’d been given the all clear we could carry on. Donor carers all had masks on and it was very sterile.

“Just because there’s a virus around doesn’t mean to say blood isn’t needed, there are other conditions as well.”

A global pandemic was not going to stop Steve as over the years he has missed only a couple of donation occasions due to surgery, even though he has to rely on public transport to get to sessions that are held all over the county.

“I donate at Weston Favell, Wellingborough and this is the first time I’ve been to Irchester,” Steve said.

“But I’ve never thought anything of it, I just do what I need to do to give blood.”

Dedicated donor Steve, who lives in Billing but socialises in Wellingborough, is showing no signs of giving up and would urge more people to donate.

He added: “I will keep going for as long as I can. I’ll keep going forever, as long as I feel well enough. I already have my 101st booked in for June.

“Blood stocks are always in demand, there are some people that can’t, but if you are fit and well enough to give it, then give it.

“It doesn’t cost anything and it doesn’t hurt and you’re helping people.

“You never know when a loved one may need a blood transfusion and if it wasn’t for blood donors, they wouldn’t be able to have one.”

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