Tillington man celebrates blood donor century

C112027-1 Mid Blood  phot kate''Gerald Gresham Cooke celebrating giving his 100th pint of blood with Peter Oakley, donor care supervisor, left, his wife Angela Gresham Cooke, and Cathy Carter supervisor, right.C112027-1
C112027-1 Mid Blood phot kate''Gerald Gresham Cooke celebrating giving his 100th pint of blood with Peter Oakley, donor care supervisor, left, his wife Angela Gresham Cooke, and Cathy Carter supervisor, right.C112027-1
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There was an unusually festive atmosphere at the Herbert Shiner Community Centre in Petworth when blood donors arrived for their regular sessions.

For among them was 70-year-old Gerald Gresham Cooke from Tillington who was giving his 100th pint of blood.

Gerald, who gave his first pint as a teenager in his home town of Hungerford, arrived with a cake and fountain candles to celebrate the achievement, which he shared with nurses and fellow blood donors.

“My mother, who was keen to encourage people to give blood, took me along to my first session at the Corn Exchange in Hungerford when I was 16 and I have been giving fairly regularly ever since,” said Gerald.

“At first it was through regular sessions in Hungerford and later when I moved to this area, I attended sessions in Midhurst’s Methodist Church Hall, but now I always go to the Herbert Shiner centre.

“I decided to make a bit of a party of it on Tuesday partly to raise awareness of the need for blood donors,” he said.

In the New Year Gerald will receive an award at a presentation organised by the NHS Blood and Transplant Service to recognise the milestone.