NHS Blood and Transplant is urging donors new and old to keep giving blood even during this year’s World Cup.
They are asking them to be part of the Greatest Team in the World to help maintain healthy stocks for patients during the summer months.
The NHS says the number of people donating blood often falls during the summer and this year’s football World Cup may present even more of a distraction.
Assistant director for Donor Services and Marketing at NHS Blood and Transplant, Jon Latham, said: “We want to remind everybody that the need for blood will continue even when their attention turns to the beautiful game.
“While the overall need for blood within the NHS has been reducing, thanks to improvements in clinical practice and our work with hospitals, we still need more than 7,000 people to attend a blood donation session every day. Voluntary donors enable us to collect the amount of blood hospitals across England and North Wales need to treat patients.
“So if you have an appointment coming up in June or July please keep it. And if you have time to donate, why not book an appointment to give blood and save lives? We particularly need our O Rh Negative and B Rh Negative blood donors and our platelet donors to keep attending.
“The Greatest Team in the World is never complete, so if you’ve never given blood before come and join us. We always have spaces in our squad as we continually need new donors to replace our former team members who can no longer donate for reasons such as illness or pregnancy. So come on, why not get off the bench and join the Greatest Team in the World?”
Upcoming local sessions include ones at Askern Miners Welfare, Manor Way, Askern, on Thursday, June 26, 12.45pm to 3.15pm and 4pm to 7pm.
A spokeswoman for NHS Blood and Transplant said: “Every blood donation saves or improves the lives of up to three people, and if each member of the England World Cup squad gave blood, they would save or improve the lives of up to 69 people. In general, as long as you are fit and healthy, weigh over 7 stone 12 lbs (50kg) and are aged between 17 and 66 (up to 70 if you have given blood before) you should be able to give blood. If you are over 70, you need to have given blood in the last two years to continue donating.”
For more information or to book an appointment visit www.blood.co.uk or call 0300 123 23 23.