Today is World Blood Donor Day and countries across the world are encouraging more people to become blood donors and thanking current donors for their generous blood donations which help save hundreds of lives every day.

Here in the UK ‘give blood’ are hosting National Blood Week from 11th-17th June. During this time a team of donor experts are touring the country in a bid to inspire more people to become donors and advise them on how, when and why becoming a donor is so important.

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 Blood stocks have to be replenished to ensure that blood banks are supplied with enough blood to help poorly people. The levels and availability of blood types ranges which is why it’s so important to get as many people from all ethnic backgrounds to become donors.

Unfortunately some people won’t be able to donate blood, some medical conditions and prior experience can affect eligibility- check here for more info. And I know that many older donators are upset that they have to stop donating after their 66th birthday; if you’ve given blood for a long time it does become an important part of your life but for a donor’s own health this upper age limit is strictly followed.

This is why it’s important to ensure that younger people become donors. Healthy youngsters are perfect donors as they can regularly give blood and help make a difference. Giving blood can be daunting, especially if you’ve not done it before, but speaking from experience I can assure you that it’s nothing to worry about.

Rachel Riley giving blood

Simple ensure you follow the standard guidelines of drinking lots of water, a good night sleep and regular meals prior to giving blood and make sure you rest afterward. Once you’ve perked up you’ll have that feel-good feeling of doing something so positive that you’ll no doubt want to continue donating which is fantastic.

So during National Blood Week visit the give blood website to learn more about how important it is to roll your sleeves up and give blood. Online you can register as a donor and find a local blood donor centre, plus make an appointment to meet an advisor who will explore you eligibility and explain how your blood could help save a life.

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