Rotary Club wants your blood

COLERAINE Rotary Club wants your blood - to help save lives.

They don’t actually want it themselves of course!

The club is joining forces with the NI Blood Transfusion Service to try and increase the number of donors in the Coleraine area.

Members of the club will be working hard in the coming months to raise awareness of donation sessions and trying to encourage people to start giving blood and to continue giving blood. The effort starts at home and many of the members will be getting involved and making donations themselves.

The next Blood Donation sessions in Coleraine will be on Monday and Tuesday, August 8-9 in the Baptist Church Hall, Abbey Street. Sessions are between 1.30 and 4.00pm and 5.15 and 8.00pm each day.

Speaking as the initiative gets underway, Michael Magee, Rotary Club of Coleraine president, said: “As an organisation the Rotary Club in Coleraine wants to be involved in a positive way in the community. What better way to do this than increasing the number of donors in Coleraine.

“We will be involved in publicising donation sessions across the borough and encouraging people to come along and donate their blood. It only takes a few minutes of your time but the potential benefits of your donation are enormous.”

The timing is important, as the NI Blood Transfusion Service’s Paul McElkerney said on Friday. “In the summer time stocks of blood drop sharply as people take their holidays, so it is especially important that we retain and attract donors at this time.

“Around 500 people a week in Northern Ireland need blood transfusions, about 40% of them being cancer patients and the rest mainly being used during surgical operations. Only about 8% is used in dealing with accidents.

“Nearly everyone knows someone who is alive today because of blood donations. Every time you donate blood someone in Northern Ireland will benefit from it within three days – and more often than not it will help save their lives.”

The need for donors is still very high. It takes about 9,000 new donors each year just to stand still, to replace those who stop donating, or who are unable to donate because of other reasons. It is a fact that 94% of eligible donors in Northern Ireland do not donate blood.

Michael said: “We are offering our help to the NI Blood Transfusion Service in Coleraine and we will be working with the community to try and boost donations from the area. We are asking everyone to look at their own circumstances and think of the benefit they can bring by giving blood.

“Join us and remember the slogan – Give Blood, Save Lives.”

For more information on Blood Donation, visit www.nibts.org or ring 0500534 666.