NHS Blood and Transplant is appealing for new blood donors, launching the #ImThere campaign in a bid to encourage people to register and start saving lives.
Running during National Blood Week (June 19 to 25), the appeal comes as the group reveals 200,000 new donors are needed each year to ensure that patients ‘have access to the blood they need, when they need it’.
In a statement it said there’s a ‘particular need’ for young people to join the 15,603 people in West Sussex who gave blood at least once last year and become the next generation of donors.
It added: “Half of all donors in England are over 45 so it’s important we recruit younger people to donate blood to help meet patient needs now and in the future.”
Mike Stredder, director of blood donation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “Every day, blood donors from West Sussex make a difference; saving people whose lives depend on blood.”
He added: “Thanks to the generosity of our loyal network of regular donors, we can ensure that hospitals have the blood needed to treat patients and, as recent weeks have sadly proven, make certain our stocks are strong enough to respond to major incidents and emergencies.
“Don’t worry if you’ve never given blood before and don’t know what blood group you are – you find out shortly after your first donation.
“What’s important is that you register as a donor and book your first appointment to donate.
“By saying ‘I’m there’, you can save the life of someone else, while going about yours.”
Donors have to be fit and healthy, weigh over seven stone 12 lbs (50kg) and be aged between 17 and 66 (up to 70 if you have given blood before).
To sign up as a new donor or book an appointment, visit: www.blood.co.uk or call 0300 123 23 23.