Winter news

Donors’ delight

Life took an unexpected turn for two blood donors who met while donating. Victoria and Joshua Dear arrived at the same donation session in St Ives back in 2014. 

Victoria and Joshua Dear on their wedding day

“Joshua and I were both donating blood at the Dolphin Hotel and started to chat whilst we were waiting,” says Victoria. “We had a mutual friend who, upon hearing we had met, deciding to play cupid so we ended up going on a date, and the rest as they say is history!” 

They married on July 1st this summer. 

Victoria began donating after her father, who had given almost 100 donations, had a heart attack and had to stop.

Victoria decided to continue the tradition in his place. Joshua became a donor when a group of his friends decided to donate after a close friend died. 

“It really is such an easy thing to do to save lives,“ Victoria says. “We now always go to donate together and love seeing the staff who recognise us and know our story.”

Gogglebox’s Tom Malone urges people to donate platelets

Gogglebox star Tom Malone has revealed he is a regular platelet donor, after blood and platelet donation saved his son’s life.

Gogglebox's Tom Malone donating platelets

Platelets are tiny cells in the blood that help it to clot. They are frequently used for patients having cancer treatment and for people with severe injuries or undergoing major surgery.

Tom, 52, from Stretford in Greater Manchester, knows how valuable blood and platelet donations are after his son and fellow TV star Shaun received both during his treatment for a rare brain disease. Shaun was 15 when sinusitis affected his brain and he was given a 10 per cent chance of survival. He had surgery seven times, was in a coma for weeks, and spent six months in hospital. 

Tom decided it was time to step forward and donate and save other people’s lives. He has now donated 30 units of platelets and plans to continue donating at Manchester donor centre for as long as he can. 

The Malone family are urging people to donate this winter to help ensure that stocks of platelets stay healthy. Blood and platelet donations can dip during the winter. Tom said, “I always thought about donating, but like everyone says I just never got round to doing it until Shaun got ill and received transfusions himself. It was the kick up the proverbial I needed to start donating.

“I enjoy coming to the donor centre because the staff are excellent and dead funny. I love the text you receive telling you where your donation has gone, it’s a private pat on the back when you receive the text; it’s brilliant. “Donating doesn’t cost anything and saves lives. You would do it if your family needed it, so take a step forward and do it now whilst you can.”

Anyone wanting to be a platelet donor must be in good health, aged 17 to 65 (if they haven’t donated before) or have given a whole blood donation in the last two years. Around half of those assessed are suitable to donate platelets.

To register your interest in giving platelets please call 0300 123 23 23 or visit

Almost £6k raised for Bloodwise – Thank you!

The Bloodwise Bake Hertfordshire team

Bloodwise Bake Hertfordshire Team.jpgThank you to all of our donors who bought a baked treat from us during Bake for Bloodwise week (18 – 24 September) – helping us to raise almost £6,000.
Staff donned their aprons to bake treats that were available for donors to buy at sessions and in centres during the week. The money raised will help to fund pioneering research and patient support.

Bloodwise is the UK’s specialist blood cancer charity. It funds world-class research and offers expert information and support to anyone affected by leukaemia, myeloma and other blood cancer-related disorders. 

We have been supporting Bloodwise as our partner charity since March 2016. Blood transfusions play an essential role in reducing the symptoms and side effects of the treatments that blood cancer patients receive, so supporting Bloodwise in this way made sense for us.

To find out more about the life-saving work Bloodwise does, visit Donations can also be made to Bloodwise via our Just Giving page.

Changes to the Donor Health Check as more people can give blood

You may notice some changes to the Donor Health Check (DHC) next time you donate. From January 2018, we are amending the form (along with the welcome booklet) to reflect the changes to the rules on blood donation in England. You can read about these changes here.

The new form will be entitled ‘Version 7’ (instead of ‘Version 6’) – and this form will only be accepted at sessions from 8th January. If you have the older version of the form when attending an appointment on or after this date, please destroy it. When completing the form please take extra care in reading the questions as some will have changed since you last donated.

Check you can give

We have a new online self-assessment tool for blood donors called ‘check you can give’.

Check you can give logoThis easy-to-use checker asks donors a number of questions, relating to the most common reasons donors are unable to donate. If, for any reason, your eligibility to give blood is in question, you will be directed to the relevant online guidance within the ‘Health, Eligibility and Travel’ section of our website. If you cannot give blood, we will ask you to reschedule your forthcoming appointment, or to contact us to discuss your eligibility.

We hope that this will stop donors from making a wasted journey if they cannot give blood. And, of course, by rescheduling any affected appointments we can also offer any cancelled appointments to other donors!

Why don’t you check you can give today?!