With the New Year just around the corner, the Buxton Advertiser is launching a brand new campaign to transform more of its readers into lifesavers.
‘Give a Pint, Save a Life’ is the name of our year-long drive aimed at encouraging more people to pledge to sign up to become blood donors.
As well as boosting the number of local donors on the register, we want to highlight the stories of those who give blood already or have benefitted from this life-saving gift, as well as the vital efforts of those unsung heroes who work tirelessly behind the scenes.
Donor Karen Davies was inspired to give blood after her granddaughter Milly underwent a blood transfusion at three weeks old.
The 55-year-old, from Fairfield, said: “There is nothing more heartbreaking than watching somebody so little go through major surgery.”
When Milly was just a day old she underwent surgery on her abdomen, but three weeks later she contracted an infection and needed an emergency blood transfusion.
Karen, who has received her bronze award for donating blood, said: “It was a terrible time, full of worry and fear, but luckily she pulled through and is now a healthy nine-year-old.
“It made me realise the importance of giving blood. No-one knows when or if you might need it, but so many people do and if you can save one life then it is worth it.”
Karen said she would like to see more businesses support staff who want to give blood, adding: “I know people are busy, but it doesn’t take long and it saved my granddaughter.”
Peter Leafe, 57, from Peak Dale, was in a serious motorbike accident in Dove Holes in December 1977. He lost three pints of blood and his right leg was severely injured.
He said: “I lost so much blood I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the transfusions. At the back of my mind I was always so aware of the fact that someone had taken the time to give the blood which kept me alive.”
For three weeks doctors fought to save his leg and he underwent skin grafts, but after contracting gangrene the limb had to be removed.
When he was well enough, he joined the blood donor register.
His operation fell before the deadline which stops people who have received blood from also donating, an he was later awarded a badge for reaching his 25-pint mark.
He added: “I would encourage everyone to sign up. It can be daunting, but it really is an invaluable life-saving service.”
NHS Blood and Transplant need to collect 1.6 million units of blood each year to meet the needs of patients across England.
It is important they collect the right amount of each blood group at the right time.
There are four main blood groups – O, A, B and AB. Group O is the most common and therefore the most in demand.
A regular supply of blood is vital – red cells last 35 days and platelets only seven days.
Advertiser content editor Jonathan Dodds said: “The new year is a time for change and this year your resolution could be one that will change lives and keep families together.
“Just one pint of your blood could save three people and it only takes an hour - and what’s one hour all year?
“It would be great if we could encourage 365 people to sign up to become new donors in 2017 through this campaign, then at the end of the year we would have saved the equivalent of someone’s life every day.
“So please join us, roll up your sleeves and let’s do something that will really make a difference this year.”
The NHS has said it needs just under 200,000 new blood donors each year to replace those who no longer donate for reasons such as ill health, pregnancy or foreign travel, and to ensure the right mix of blood groups.
For patients receiving treatment for cancer, blood disorders, after accidents or during surgery, or new mums who lose blood in childbirth, blood is an essential part of healthcare.
NHS Blood and Transplant - the service which collects, tests and processes blood for hospitals across England - says there is a need for more new donors.
Jon Latham, NHS Blood and Transplant assistant director for donor services and marketing, said: “Blood donation is an amazing gift - every donation given can help save or transform up to three lives.
“New blood donors are vital for ensuring we have the right mix of blood groups to meet patient needs.”
When a donor has given blood, equipment is used to separate the donation into different components, including: red blood cells, platelets, plasma and white blood cells.
Female blood donors can give blood every 16 weeks, while male blood donors every 12 weeks. Platelets can be donated every two weeks.
The next scheduled High Peak blood donation event is at Buxton’s Palace Hotel on Tuesday January 3 from 1.25pm, followed by sessions on Sunday January 15 at New Mills Town Hall from 9.50am.
To sign up to become a blood donor, or for more information, visit www.blood.co.uk.
Pledge your support
Don’t forget to let us know if we’ve inspired you to give blood for the first time. Call our reporter Lucy Ball on 01298 767081 or email
We’ll also be printing a form in the coming weeks for people to sign and pledge their support to the campaign.
In the meantime, we’re also interested in hearing more of your experiences of giving or receiving blood.
Get in touch with your stories, or send us your donor selfies and let us share them with our readers. Contact Lucy on the above email, or submit them via our Facebook page www.facebook.com/buxtonadvertiser or on Twitter at @Buxton_News.
Remember, we’ll be running the campaign throughout the whole of 2017, so there’s plenty of time to get involved.