New blood donors needed

Team Leader Lynn Weir and Donor Assistant Shelley McKee with Larne Mayor Gerardine Mulvenna as she gives a pint of her blood during the blood donation session in First Larne Presbyterian Church Hall. INLT 40-401-PR
Team Leader Lynn Weir and Donor Assistant Shelley McKee with Larne Mayor Gerardine Mulvenna as she gives a pint of her blood during the blood donation session in First Larne Presbyterian Church Hall. INLT 40-401-PR

LARNE residents are being encouraged to turn out in force when the NI Blood Transfusion Service (NIBTS) rolls into town on Wednesday, October 10.

If you are one of the 94 per cent of people in Northern Ireland who do not give blood, there will be an opportunity to put this right between 1.30pm to 4pm and 5.15pm to 8pm at First Larne Presbyterian Church Hall.

New, lapsed and frequent donors will be welcomed as NIBTS struggles to maintain stocks of blood to provide for those in need.

The Rotary Club of Larne has been working closely with NIBTS for several years to promote blood donation, and thanks to their combined efforts, the town now tops the province’s blood donation league table.

Rotarian John Shannon, who has been a regular donor for many years, wants to ensure Larne maintains this position and has urged more people – especially young people – to go along and donate.

Mr Shannon said: “Giving blood is easy, it only takes one hour of your time and can literally save a life.

“When blood is donated, it only has a shelf life of a few days and is used in hospital across Northern Ireland in operations, child birth, road accidents and sometimes in the treatment of cancer.

“Regular donors are sometimes excluded from giving blood because they are on certain medications, have had an operation themselves, are over 70 or have had a holiday in certain parts of the world. Because of this, new donors are needed all the time.”

Those people who cannot make it to the upcoming blood donation session in Larne and want to donate can do so at the NIBTS headquarters, located beside Belfast City Hospital. No appointment is necessary.

Anyone between the age of 17 and 65 can give blood for the first time and can continue to donate three times a year to the age of 70.

For more information on blood donation, visit www.nibts.org