I have been a blood donor since I started working at the Prudential at the age of 19. They arranged for the National Blood Service to come to one of the Prudential buildings (there were 3 at the time in Reading) to collect blood from employees and allowed us to go and give blood on company time. I gave blood regularly for a couple of years but my parents lived in Africa and I went to visit them a few times, and I couldn’t donate when pregnant either, so my blood donating became a bit sporadic until they returned to the UK. Over the past 23 years I have donated 25 times – I got my silver award at my last donation :D.
Over the past few years, the importance of donating has really hit home to me as my step-daughter was very ill (an understatement believe me) and had to have regular transfusions before she was able to have a bone marrow transplant. My blood type is O+ which means that anyone who has O+, A+, B+ or AB+ can receive my blood, I think.
I wish I could be giving blood on World Blood Donor Day but I’m not allowed to donate again until July when I will be going along to my local donor session.