Giving the gift of life

Giving the gift of life

If there is anything positive to come out of this most challenging of years, it is the hope that it has actually brought people together and that we will be more considerate to each other and the communities we live and work in. Being more aware of how we can each play a small part in creating a better society is important and this can take the form of many things from volunteering to donating to foodbanks or calling in on an elderly neighbour. The list is endless really!

But another act of kindness to consider has been inspired by our marketing manager, Abby Chandler, who throughout the pandemic has continued to do something to help others by giving blood. Here, Abby tells us more about why this is so important.

After years of wanting to do it but always finding a reason not to, I started donating blood back in 2017 at Doncaster Racecourse. For some reason I had always been really apprehensive about going but once I made the first step, I realised how straightforward the process is and that there was nothing to be scared of so I never looked back.

I now try and go every 16 weeks, which is the recommended interval for women, and every time I just feel so happy that in a small way I am actually helping to save lives. There is always a need for blood and that’s what keeps me wanting to do it. In addition, for every donation I make, I get to find out where my blood has been sent and that makes me realise, for my small contribution, that people are benefitting.

I was really interested to read some stark facts about the need for donors recently as well including that nearly 400 new donors a day are needed to meet demand, 40,000 more black donors are required to meet growing demand for better-matched blood and how we need more young people to start giving blood so we can make sure we have enough blood in the future.

To people who are thinking about donating but haven’t yet, I would say that the staff who take the blood are always welcoming, reassuring and make you feel that donating is worthwhile. And at the end you get a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit – a mint club bar is a firm favourite with me! The set up at Doncaster racecourse is brilliant, it is really well organised both leading up to the appointment, on the day and afterwards.

There is no doubt that giving blood saves lives and is a lifeline in an emergency and for people who need long-term treatments. According to www.blood.co.uk in 2014 donated blood was used in the following ways:
• 67% was used to treat medical conditions including anaemia, cancer and blood disorders, such as sickle cell
• 27% was used in surgery, including cardiac surgery and emergency surgery
• 6% was used to treat blood loss after childbirth

Who knows if you or a loved one may be the recipient one day and will rely on those people who donate blood to help you in a time of need.

It is also important to add that the service needs people to keep donating blood, platelets, and plasma during the pandemic. Donor centres are still open despite coronavirus restrictions so why not make blood donation part of your life? You won’t regret it.

To find out more visit: www.blood.co.uk

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