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LOCAL man Roy Lucas recently donated his 100th pint of blood and is encouraging others to sign up to become a blood donor.
Roy, who is 56 years-old, has been donating blood since 1980, following in the footsteps of his father.
“I first gave blood soon after my 18th birthday and I have been donating three times a year since then,” said Roy.
“I was inspired by my dad who gave blood for many years – he had a few motorcycle accidents when he was younger and wanted to give back. As soon as I could, I also wanted to become a donor. I was slightly anxious on my first visit but I’m not worried about needles or blood, so I wasn’t too worried.
“Thankfully, I’ve never needed blood, but you never know what’s going to happen. But I don’t do it just in case I might need blood one day, I do it because it helps others and it doesn’t take too much effort to do.
“When I speak to people about it they often say to me, ‘I’d like to donate blood but I don’t have time.’ I say to them, make time because you could potentially be saving someone’s life.
“Other people say they are nervous or anxious which is fair enough, but the nurses and carers are so fantastic and make you feel relaxed and at ease. You don’t need to give blood on your first visit either. You can just go along and speak to the nurses, read the leaflets and find out what will happen when you go back to donate. If you are thinking about donating or want to, but haven’t got round to it yet, I would really encourage you to make the effort to.
“When I reached my 50th pint of blood, I wasn’t sure how long I would continue for but I kept going and when I reached 75 pints I knew I had to try and get to the 100th. My emerald donor’s card has been replaced with a ruby one, I received a commemorative medal, badge and certificate, and I have been invited to a special ceremony which is organised for other blood donors who have reached a significant amount.”
To find out more about giving blood, visit www.blood.co.uk.