Sugden: ‘give something than money can’t buy’

editorial image

By the end of August, 5,000 people in Northern Ireland will have needed a blood transfusion - that was the stark figure highlighted by an East Londonderry MLA last week.

Independent MLA, and blood donor, Claire Sugden was speaking as she welcomed the Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service to the Assembly.

This is the first time the agency has been to Stormont in over a decade.

MLA Sugden, a strong advocate for giving blood, is encouraging those who can, to give something that money can’t buy.

“One pint means much to those who will receive it,” explained the Coleraine woman.

“Whilst I have given blood for years, it was last year that I saw first-hand the benefit for those receiving a blood transfusion.

“During his illness David McClarty, my predecessor, struggled to lift his head or even open his eyes.

“He later received a blood transfusion and within a couple of hours he was able to get up, walk about, and feel somewhat like himself again.

“Blood is truly life’s elixir, and if you can give it, I would encourage you to do so.

“By the end of August, 5000 people in Northern Ireland will have needed a blood transfusion.

“During summer months however, donors are less likely to give blood because of good weather, holidays and other distractions.

“It is important that we remind donors to “bring a little sunshine to someone this summer” by giving a pint of their good stuff.”

At the event in Stormont last week, Claire was joined by a host of her colleagues, including Assembly speaker, Sinn Fein MLA Mitchell McLaughlin who took time out of their busy schedules to donate a pint of the red stuff!

If you have been inspired by the MLA’s call, your can find out more by visiting visit

Alternatively you can contact the Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service on 028 9032 1414