Two Chorley men honoured at NHS Blood and Transplant awards for 100 donations

Geoffrey Haslam and John Bicknell were honoured for being committed blood donars by NHS Blood and Transplant
Geoffrey Haslam and John Bicknell were honoured for being committed blood donars by NHS Blood and Transplant

A special awards ceremony has honoured blood and platelet donors who have collectively saved and improved the lives of thousands of people.

A special awards ceremony has honoured blood and platelet donors who have collectively saved and improved the lives of thousands of people.

NHS Blood and Transplant organised the celebratory event at Samlesbury Hall, in Preston, to pay tribute to their dedication and commitment to donate blood which is a vital part of treatment for so many patients.

Commemorative medals were presented to donors for reaching 100 donations or more.

John Bicknell, 67, a retired BT manager from Whittle-le-Woods, has been donating since 1968. He said: “I started donating with a group of friends at a session in Chorley. You never know when you might need a donation yourself. Donating blood is quick, relatively pain free, and it helps many other people.”

Geoffrey Haslam, 54, a proposals engineer from Weldbank in Chorley, was also honoured. He said: “Someday it could be you, or someone you know, who needs a transfusion.”

The awards were presented by Lesley Ronson, 49, from Poulton-le-Fylde, who received numerous blood and platelet transfusions during successful treatment for Non Hodgkins Lymphoma.

He said: “Blood donation gave me energy, helped stave off infections, stopped me haemorrhaging, and kept me alive. Blood donors are life savers. I became a blood donor in the late 1980s and I never thought that one day I would rely on the generosity of blood donors to save my life.”

One unit of blood donated can save or improve the lives of up to three people, so 100 donations has potentially helped save the lives of up to 300 patients in hospitals through donating blood.

Richard Shortland, head of regional marketing at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “This celebration pays tribute to our loyal blood donors who have given their time donate 100 times and more.

“We are extremely grateful for their dedication and commitment, as every unit of blood given to a patient has come from a valued voluntary donor. The lifesaving effects a blood transfusion can make to a patient is remarkable.”

In general, as long as you are fit and healthy, weigh over 7 stone 12 lbs (50kg) and are aged between 17 and 66 (up to 70 if you have given blood before) you should be able to give blood. If you are over 70, you need to have given blood in the last two years to continue donating.