Kenilworth man to make 50th blood donation

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Mark Haines is in a job with a busy work schedule – but despite the hours he always tries to make sure he never misses an appointment “to give back” to the community.

And yesterday marked his 50th blood donor session, something he started 20 years ago years ago when he was a design engineer at Marconi in Coventry.

Mark, aged 50, used to live in Chestnut Avenue, Kenilworth, and attended the regular session (February 19) in the parish hall of the town’s St Francis of Assisi Catholic church in Warwick Road.

He said: “I feel that it is just the right thing to do – to give back to the community.

“It’s relatively easy and fairly quick – but it can make a big difference to someone’s life.”

Now with his own driving school business, Driving Skool, and living with his wife Sharon just yards from Hatton Station, he added: “It’s a straightforward process giving blood and I would encourage more people to do it.”

His commitment has been praised by Shai Mistry, deputy regional marketing manager at NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), who said: “We are very grateful to Mark for his commitment and loyalty to blood donation over the years.

“Reaching the 50th donation milestone is definitely something to be proud of. Taking time to donate blood is one of the most selfless and generous things you can do to help others.”

Donors give 470ml (just under a pint) at each session, and the service needs 200,000 new donors per year, but only four per cent of the eligible population are active blood donors.

NHSBT’s donor line - 0300 123 23 23 - is available 24 hours daily, with all calls charged at the standard local rate, even from mobile phones.

Donors can search for sessions, change their contact details, book appointments and change/cancel appointments at www.blood.co.uk