Donors honoured for life-saving efforts

Sheila Jones with David Cope.
Sheila Jones with David Cope.

A PAIR of Pontefract blood donors have been honoured for their dedication to rolling up their sleeves and helping to save lives.

Veteran donors Sheila Lynne Jones and John Harrison – who have each made more than 75 donations – were personally thanked by a grateful blood recipient they helped to save.

Mrs Jones, of Hillthorpe Drive, Thorpe Audlin, said she began donating in 1966 in response to the Aberfan disaster and had continued to do so ever since.

The 64-year-old retired primary school teacher, said: “I would encourage others to give blood. Go along and take courage – it doesn’t hurt, it isn’t any inconvenience and you know you are doing something to help other people.”

Mrs Jones and Mr Harrison, of Park Close, Darrington, were awarded with an NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) commemorative crystal plate for their commitment over the years.

They were both awarded the honour by grateful blood recipient and father-of-five, David Copes, of South Elmsall.

The 60-year-old broke his neck, back, pelvis, both legs, ribs, foot, jaw, collar bone and hand in a motorcycle crash in 2007 and needed 40 units of blood.

Darren Bowen, NHSBT’s donor relations manager for Yorkshire said: “It’s wonderful that we can call on people like our donors who have dedicated themselves to giving blood over so many years.

“Mr Copes’ story highlights the life-saving role they perform for no reward, other than the knowledge that they are helping others. However, every year many existing donors in our region have to stop giving blood so in order to maintain blood stocks, we constantly need new donors.

“We welcome new donors aged from 17 to 65 and there is no upper age limit for existing donors.”

To make an appointment to give blood locally visit www.blood.co.uk or call 0300 123 2323.