I am ashamed to admit that it took me many years of saying “I should really donate blood” before taking the plunge and booking myself into a blood donating session, and handing over 1 of my 10 pints of blood in the hope it could save someone else’s life. I can’t be completely sure why it took so long. I guess it just didn’t seem an overly enjoyable way to pass my time, and the needles probably put me off a lot! So I think I began donating as late as my 40’s, but now I have started to do this regularly I regret I waited so long to get involved.
The whole process is not as bad as I had imagined it to be, and staff are friendly and helpful, and it’s just an hour of my life every 16 weeks. And it is true you get a hot drink and chocolate biscuit at the end with a five minute sit down. But the other thing that you get is a text a couple of weeks later telling you where your blood has been sent which makes the whole thing feel much more real and personal – I can see how my personal donation made a difference!
My most recent blood donation was given in May during our current lockdown circumstances. I have to admit I was a little apprehensive as to how the normal routine would have been adapted for social distancing and keeping everyone safe. But it was really well organised and I felt very relaxed and safe with all the measures that had been put in place, and I have just found out that my blood has travelled to Nottingham teaching hospital to be used.
Blood donations are needed just as much as ever and I would encourage anyone who is even slightly tempted to take the plunge and give it a go. Out of the various charitable things I have got involved in, it is one of my top most satisfying things to have done, and it really can make the difference between life and death for someone. If you donate blood who knows whose lives you will be impacting.
For more information https://www.blood.co.uk/who-can-give-blood/
Or call 0300 123 23 23
By Elizabeth Smith, Senior Support Worker – Self Directed Support Team
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash