The gift of life

Hastings and Eastbourne web pictures
Hastings and Eastbourne web pictures

The Horsham District’s Community Safety and Health and Wellbeing Partnerships are teaming up to encourage residents to donate blood and join the organ donor register.

Blood is something that everyone expects to be there for them when they need it, yet only 4% of people give blood.

A lack of donors is of particular concern within the Horsham District, which has in recent years recorded the highest numbers of seriously injured motorists in West Sussex following road traffic collisions.

Having a good supply of blood is therefore vital to ensure that such casualties stand the best chance of survival.

Giving blood is not as scary as it sounds and, according to the NHS’s National Blood Service (http://www.blood.co.uk/), every pint donated can save up to three lives; these could be babies, mothers in childbirth or people having operations or suffering from medical conditions.

Yet many healthy people, who would be eligible to boost the UK’s blood bank stocks by giving blood, fail to do so either through fear, apathy or lack of awareness. It’s a good and satisfying way of helping other people, at no physical or financial cost.

Most people can give blood. If a person is generally in good health, aged 17 to 65 (if it’s the first time) and weigh at least 50kg (7st 12Ib) then they can donate. There are four main blood groups - O, A, B and AB. Group O is the most common and therefore the most in demand.

Only 29% of people have joined the national Organ Donation Registration, but there are 10,000 people who currently need a transplant in the UK.

Since April 2012: 361 people have donated organs, 905 have received transplants and 7,588 people are still waiting for a transplant.

To find out more about becoming a blood donor or joining the Organ Donation register, call the Donor Line on 0300 123 23 23 (available 24 hours a day).

Or visit the following websites:

To egister as an organ donor visit http://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/

To register as a blood donor visit https://secure.blood.co.uk/enrol.asp

For places to give blood in Horsham visit http://www.blood.co.uk/giving-blood/where-can-i-go/

Blood can be given at a range of locations across the Horsham District, including:

Horsham YMCA Football Club, Gorings Mead, RH13 5BP; Majestic House, Blatchford Road, RH13 5QR; Broadbridge Heath Village Hall; Southwater Leisure Centre; Billingshurst Community and Conference Centre; Partridge Green Village Hall; Henfield Village Hall.

The session times vary between 10am and 8pm so there should hopefully be something to suit everyone.

The NHS Blood and Transplant team will be at the Health, Wellbeing and Beauty market on Thursday 24 January in the Carfax, Horsham town centre, and will be on hand to give out more information.

The Horsham District Wellbeing Service will be at the weekly Horsham Market on Thursday 24, Friday 25, and Saturday 26 January 2013 to give information and advice on a wide range of wellbeing issues.

Horsham District Wellbeing is a free, friendly and impartial service delivered by Horsham District Council and other partners, which is funded by NHS West Sussex.