Alison has been giving blood for over 50 years. To celebrate her 100th donation she campaigned to recruit 100 new donors.
I began donating blood in the early 1970s when I went off to teacher training college. I can't really remember all that much about the first time other than it was in Seaford, East Sussex. My Mum had been a blood donor and had told me how important our O-negative blood was.
(Picture: Alison at Waitrose for her campaign to recruit 100 donors)
I've been donating ever since and now I have donated 120 times. I go to the Millennium Hall at Upton Bishop.
When I got to 99 donations, I set about trying to get 100 people signed up by my 100th. I managed to get tremendous support from my work place, Waitrose in Great Malvern, and also BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester. NHS Blood and Transplant sent someone out to the store and we set up a display in our dining room for the day. My work colleagues could ask questions and some signed up. The radio station ran the story and the presenter Malcolm Boyden set it up as a Malcolm's Miracle.
I was interviewed a couple of times and was able to tell people all about the donation process. I explained that it was such an easy way to help others, didn't take long, didn't cost much other than petrol money to get to a venue. Donating doesn't hurt and is safe. Customers would ask about it as the local paper ran the story and we got 100 people to donate, plus a few more I think. Some customers still ask if I'm still donating!
I've seen some changes over the years. I am very happy with most, including the chairs instead of the bed. The thing I miss is the treat at the end of the session when Lemon Puffs and Fig Rolls were available!
I'm just glad that I can do something to help someone else
I believe I feel better after donating! Perhaps it's having a fresh lot of blood to replace what I've given. I don't think it's ever been medically proven though. I've always called it my oil change!!
I can't really describe how I feel about giving blood, other than saying I'm just glad that I can do something to help someone else. It's not a proud feeling, it's more a grateful one to be able to do it.
If you're inspired by Alison...
There are a few options to get your friends, family or colleagues involved and encourage them to register to donate.
If you have a small group you can attend What’s Your Blood Type events across the country.
If you have a very large group or organisation who are interested, you can contact Business.firstname.lastname@example.org to organise a What’s Your Blood Type event in your workplace.
At What’s Your Blood Type events those who are keen to become blood donors can find out their likely blood type when registering to become a new blood donor.
A quick finger prick blood test allows us to give tailored messages about specific blood types, who they are helping and how often we’d like donations.
Find out more about blood types.
Those interested in donating can also register to donate online.