NHS Blood and Transplant is calling for more people in Lancaster to make time this Christmas to give a gift only they can give and donate blood or platelets.
Last year 1 in 5 blood donor appointments were missed over the festive period putting NHS Blood and Transplant’s critical operation under unnecessary pressure.
Barbara Blanche, lead donor relations manager at NHS Blood and Transplant said: “Blood stock levels can drop dramatically over the busy festive period as Christmas shopping, celebrations and extended public holidays mean giving blood slips off the nation’s to-do lists.
“At this time of year many people want to give something more than material gifts.
“A blood donation truly is the gift only you can give and with one single donation you can save or improve up to three lives.
“Don’t worry if you’ve never given blood before -now is a great time to sign up and start giving.”
Around 210,000 whole blood donations will be needed over the coming six weeks to supply hospitals across England and North Wales treating patients with cancer and anaemias, after accidents or childbirth complications, and during surgery.
And over the festive period 12,500 platelet donations are needed to help treat patients with cancer, serious blood disorders and those who have undergone transplants.
Every blood donation is vital, but over the winter months NHS Blood and Transplant particularly needs to ensure supplies of the universal blood group O Rh Negative which is often in short supply as demand is so great.
This year NHS Blood and Transplant faces extra pressure as Christmas Day and Boxing Day fall ahead of a weekend, raising concerns fewer donors than usual will get around to making life saving donations during the busy festive period.
To book an appointment to donate visit www.blood.co.uk or call 0300 123 2323 to find your nearest session.