Call to donate blood at Christmas

100th blood donation at Deeping Methodist Church. Pictured is  Elaine Newton from Northborough  with  donor carer Amy Morris EMN-140112-171643009
100th blood donation at Deeping Methodist Church. Pictured is Elaine Newton from Northborough with donor carer Amy Morris EMN-140112-171643009
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A woman who gave her 100th pint of blood earlier this month has backed calls for more people to donate in a time of shortage for the NHS.

Regular donor Elaine Newton said there was “nothing to it” as the NHS Blood and Transplant Service launched its Christmas campaign.

Last year one in five donor appointments were missed over the festive period and the service wants more than 200,000 to give blood this Christmas.

Elaine, 67, of Cromwell Close, Northborough, added: “I don’t know why more people don’t do it.”

Elaine first gave blood when she was 19 and working for Hotpoint in Lutterworth. She was encouraged by a colleague, and has never looked back.

“They did it in glass bottles that looked like milk bottles,” said Elaine. “It was a bit scary in a way. It was a long time ago but I suppose I felt quite proud of myself. It seemed like a big thing at the time.”

Elaine carried on donating when she moved to the Mercury area, and was instrumental in bringing the blood van to her workplace at Baker Perkins in Peterborough. She now donates at Deepings Methodist Church, where she gave her 100th pint earlier this month.

“I would definitely encourage people to go,” she said. “If you are worried about needles then maybe don’t, but it’s really only a little needle prick. I never look at it. But it’s just a sting and then it’s finished. There’s nothing to it.”

Elaine added: “Something like about two per cent give blood, which is very few and there’s lots who could.

“If they went to a hospital for an operation and the doctor said they hadn’t got enough blood then the NHS would be shot down in flames. But it’s the public really.”

NHS Blood and Transplant assistant director Jon Latham said: “Blood stock levels can drop dramatically over the busy festive period as Christmas shopping, celebrations and extended public holidays mean giving blood slips off the nation’s to-do lists.

“At this time of year many people want to give something more than material gifts. A blood donation truly is the gift only you can give and with one single donation you can save or improve up to three lives.”

Visit www.blood.co.uk or call 0300 123 2323.