A SPECIAL thanks has been given to a number of blood donors who have reached 100 donations.

NHS Blood and Transplant organised the event at Samlesbury Hall to praise donors who have helped save the lives of thousands of people.

Medals were presented to donors who have reached the landmark of 100 donations or more.

Blood donor Harry Hornby, 71, from Livesey in Blackburn, has been donating for 52 years.

He said: “Donating blood is so easy and knowing that it has helped people to live is an amazing feeling.”

A quality controller from Higher Croft in Blackburn, Brian Hudson, was another who received the award.

The 57-year-old said: “I started giving blood when a friend had a motorcycle accident.

“You never know when you might need some yourself.”

Nicholas Cort, 71, from Mellor Brook, was also honoured.

The awards were presented by Lesley Ronson who received numerous blood and platelet transfusions during successful treatment for Non Hodgkins Lymphoma.

The 49-year-old said: “Blood donation gave me energy, helped stave off infections, stopped me haemorrhaging, and kept me alive.

“Blood donors are life savers.”

NHS staff say that one unit of blood donated can save or improve the lives of up to three people.

The awards were given out as statistics reveal out of all the people who give blood, just one in a hundred will reach 100 donations it.

Richard Shortland, from NHS blood and transplant, said: “We are extremely grateful for our donors dedication and commitment, as every unit of blood given to a patient has come from a valued voluntary donor.

“The lifesaving effects a blood transfusion can make to a patient is remarkable.”

NHS staff also encouraged anyone else to get involved and donate blood.

To register or book an appointment go online at www.blood.co.uk or call 0300 123 23 23.