Blood donor plea in Sidmouth and Ottery

HEALTH chiefs have urged residents in Sidmouth and Ottery St Mary to make giving blood a New Year’s resolution for 2012.

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) bosses warned that a ‘perfect storm’ could be created by next year’s bumper sporting calendar and extra bank holidays - severely affecting donation levels in the South West. NHSBT statistics show 93per cent of donors give blood during the working week. Big sporting events, or a string of bank holidays, see national donation levels drop.

Jonathan Sewell, NHSBT register development manager for the South West, said: “2012 is going to be an exciting year for the UK but we’re concerned that the cluster of major events could dramatically impact the number of blood donations coming in.

Jo Pavey, 38, who grew up near Ottery and went to The King’s School, is one of the UK’s most successful distance runners and is currently training for the 2012 London Olympics.

Jo is supporting the NHSBT ‘Gift of Life’ campaign following her son Jacob’s life-saving transfusion experience when he was born.

She said: “Without the blood, he simply wouldn’t have survived.”

Donors can start giving blood from the age of 17.

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Donor sessions will take place at The Institute, Ottery St Mary, on February 10, West Hill Village Hall on April 11, and Sidmouth’s Stowford Rise Community Centre on April 19. Visit for more information.

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