DURING a time when more people than ever want to take action to help others, Essex Fire and Rescue Service are reminding people how simple but important it is to give blood and support other emergency services.
NHS Blood and Transplant needs nearly 5,000 people to give blood every day, and with blood donation seen as essential travel, the NHS is still holding donor sessions despite the COVID-19 outbreak.
Philippa Roedel, Watch Manager / Strategic Staff Officer, has been a blood donor since she was a teenager and has given more than 40 pints. She is urging people to sign up.
Philippa said: “I just wanted to do my little bit for society, then as you get more life experience you realise just how much blood is needed for things.
“It’s so easy and quick. You can feel the needle going in but it doesn’t hurt – and you get a biscuit and a cup of tea afterwards. With some people working from home, they may be able to make an appointment during the day.
“I feel if you can give blood, then you should. It’s an hour of your life that could save someone else’s.
Laura Bayley, Volunteer Co-ordinator and Museum Project Officer, has also been donating since she was in her teens and has given 51 pints.
Laura said: “My mum always gave blood and my brother and I went along with her. I’ve found it really simple. The booking is all done online so you can choose a location convenient for you.
“They need to make sure the iron level in your blood is high enough so do a little pin prick test on your finger, but once the needle is in your arm, it’s fine. Everyone is very friendly and makes sure you are OK.”
For more information on giving blood visit www.blood.co.uk