TILLINGTON villager Gerald Gresham-Cooke was among 120 blood donors across the Midhurst and Chichester area rewarded for their loyalty and commitment to making donations.
Together, they have saved up to 3,225 lives and now they have received crystal awards from the NHS Blood and Transplant service at a special ceremony in Brighton.
Mr Gresham-Cooke and John Pringle were among those who received awards for giving their 100th blood donation.
Anthony Hill, of Midhurst, was awarded for giving 75 donations.
Mr Gresham-Cooke, a retired building society manager, said: “When I was 16, my mother took me along as she was a keen donor.
“An emergency operation for my wife required her to receive four to five units of blood.
“Blood donations are vitally important. Life is in the blood.”
With each blood donation potentially saving the lives of up to three people, a donor who has given blood 75 times could have helped save the lives of up to 225 patients. Out of the four per cent of the eligible population who give blood, only three per cent ever manage to reach 75 donations and just one per cent reach 100.
John Canning, lead donor relations manager for NHS Blood and Transplant in Sussex, said: “Sometimes you forget how much of a difference giving blood can make to people’s lives.
“Ceremonies like this allow us to say a massive thank you to all the donors that take time out of their busy lives to do something life saving on a regular basis. These donors are an inspiration to us all and we hope that they continue donating and saving the lives of many more people.”
Anyone wanting to donate for the first time should be aged between 17-65, weighing at least 50kg (7st 12lbs) and in general good health.
Anyone who has donated before can start again up to their 70th birthday and there is no upper-age limit for donors who have donated in the last two years.