A very important pint of blood was donated in Coleraine last week.
The Mayor of Coleraine, alderman Maurice Bradley, gave his first ever pint of the precious red stuff at a donation session on Monday.
But it was an important donation for another reason – he became the latest donor to be added to the life saving NI Blood Transfusion Service.
Now the mayor is asking people across the borough to join him and become blood donors.
Speaking after his first visit to a donation session at Coleraine Baptist Church Hall the mayor said: “I had never given blood before and, now that I have, I will be encouraging others to join me in the future.
“I used the same excuse as most people. I was too busy with work at the newspaper and never could find the time to donate. The chances just passed by.
“This week I was invited to give blood by Coleraine Rotary Club, who are helping raise awareness of the need for donors. I thought now was a good time to start.”
The professional staff made the occasion a very pleasant visit
“The experience was great. The staff are friendly and put you at ease,” said the mayor.
“There was no sensation at all, just a slight pin prick in my arm and by the next day the mark was all but disappeared. There was no sickness or dizziness.
“The process of giving the blood itself took less than five minutes and having given my donation I had a sense of having done something very positive. I also enjoyed a nice cup of tea to round it all off.”
So, will he be donating blood again?
“Absolutely. I will be giving regularly from now on.
“The blood goes out of date in a short space of time and it is vitally important for our hospitals and surgeons to have an ample supply of blood and blood products.
“I am calling on every member of the public to seriously consider donating blood. A lot of people do donate, but the Blood Transfusion Service needs thousands of new donors every year to maintain supplies.
“Everybody should try and become a donor and it was very heartening to see, while I was donating blood, that there were a lot of younger people there doing the same.”
President of Coleraine Rotary Club, Michael Magee, has praised Coleraine’s new donor. He said: “I have to congratulate the mayor on rising to the challenge put to him by the Rotary Club and becoming the latest new donor to the NI Blood Transfusion Service.
“The Coleraine club is working with the Service in an effort to attract new donors to this essential life saving community service. Hopefully the example set by the Mayor will make others consider donating blood. Remember: Give blood. Save lives.”
There are frequent blood donation sessions in Coleraine Borough. Watch out for details in the local press and make sure that, like the mayor, you also find the time to make a blood donation.
For more information on Blood Donation, visit www.nibts.org or ring 0500534 666.