Lend an arm

World Blood Donor Day takes place every year on 14 June which raises awareness of the need for blood donations, and thanks donors for having given blood in the past.

This year’s campaign is all about encouraging people to give blood after emergency situations such as natural disasters or major incidents. Donating blood is one the best gifts you can give, but unfortunately the number of people doing this is frighteningly low.

The NHS is currently reliant upon at least 6,000 donations per day across the UK in order to treat patients in dire need of blood. Shockingly, only 4% of eligible donors in fact give blood, with the majority of them being over the age of 40. In addition to this, the number of donors has been in steady decline over the past few years. As a result of this, donation centres are calling on young people to extend their generosity and give blood.

Finding a place near you to give blood is easy as there are literally hundreds of centres up and down the country, as well as mobile blood donation units which can be called upon to visit schools and workplaces. If you are thinking about donating blood, you should:

Check

…if you are eligible for blood donation at here.

Book an appointment

You can either call the NHS Blood and Transplant Team on 0300 123 23 23, register online or simply walk into a blood donation centre (if they aren’t too busy, they’ll be more than happy to see you).

Prepare

…by researching ways to ensure your donation is safe and comfortable for you. Helpful advice can be found here.

Plan ahead

You’re encouraged to bring a form of distraction, such as a book or a friend to keep you company. A full donation only lasts 5 to 10 minutes. Add this to the registration process and recovery and you could be saving a life after only having spent an hour out of your day.

There are countless inspiring stories from real people saved by the kindness of blood donors, and reading a few here will give you a clear picture of just how important your generosity really is. So what are you waiting for? Get online, check your eligibility and book your place. You won’t regret it.

Find out more about donating blood at www.scotblood.co.uk

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