Major boost for blood service

IPSWICH'S efforts at keeping blood stocks looking healthy will get a boost later this year when a mobile donor unit is brought into service.The National Blood Service announced the move today in a bid to add to the success of the team which coordinates efforts to facilitate blood donations in the town.

IPSWICH'S efforts at keeping blood stocks looking healthy will get a boost later this year when a mobile donor unit is brought into service.

The National Blood Service announced the move today in a bid to add to the success of the team which coordinates efforts to facilitate blood donations in the town.

The Ipswich team celebrated its tenth anniversary last week with a blood donation session at Whitton.

During the past decade 260,000 people have rolled up their sleeves to donate their blood at sessions the team has run in Suffolk.

Stephen Mills, area donor services manager for the National Blood Service, said: “Since the team was launched we have just gone from strength to strength.

“We all do our very best to pull together when things are not going as smoothly as we would like and try to make giving blood as quick and easy as possible for our donors.

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“We all know just how vital each and every blood donation is to hospital patients and our donors are the most important people in our eyes.

“On behalf of the National Blood Service I would like to thank my team for all their hard work in providing this vital service in Suffolk. We all look forward to the next ten years together."

The NBS today announced a mobile donor unit will also be added to the Ipswich team's fleet of vehicles in September to allow sessions to be held in smaller communities and local companies, as well as areas where a suitable venue is currently not available.

Mr Mills added: “We hope the new mobile donor unit makes blood donation more convenient for people in areas where their nearest session is some distance away.

“We will also be visiting medium sized companies who can support a session so there will soon be a chance to save a life while you work.”

Four of the original collection team are still at work in Ipswich. They are Richard Haste, Paul Cantin, Dawn Charlton and Tony Brown.

Has your life been saved by the kindness of blood donors? Tell us your story. Call The Evening Star newsdesk on 01473 324788 or e-mail starnews@eveningstar.co.uk

Blood fact file:

Only four per cent of people who could give blood actually do so and more donors are urgently needed to help replace those lost each year

In most cases anyone aged 17 to 59 who is in general good health and weighs over 7st 12lbs (50kg) can give blood

The entire process only takes around an hour, with the actual donation on the bed lasting on average six to eight minutes

To find out more about giving blood, to register as a donor, and to book an appointment, contact the NBS helpline on 0845 7 711711

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