Barry Vickers

Barry is one of 18 people born on the first day of the NHS to still be giving blood in England.

Barry holding a donation certificateI gave my 100th donation in June just a few weeks before my 75th birthday which I share with the NHS.

We used to joke that my Mum liked a bargain, and I was one of the first babies to be born in Windsor under the new NHS back on 5th July 1948.

I started giving blood back when I was in my early 20s after the blood donation team visited the local football club I used to play for. I asked the doctor if I would be OK to play football afterwards and he said at the time: ‘A strong boy like you can give two pints!’ How times have changed…

(Barry has donated 100 times)

I gave blood and carried on with football training a couple of times but then another doctor told me that I must wait 24 hours. So, I followed her advice and began donating blood at work instead. This was at the ICI Paint Factory in Slough where I donated for many years.

 When I retired I gave blood wherever I could get along to. The appointment system has made it so much easier, and I enjoy going along to see the teams. They made a fuss of me when I gave my 100th donation and I was so happy to get there.

giving blood is part of my life

My lovely wife also gave blood years ago. Sadly, she is no longer with us but her claim to fame was giving blood sitting next to Prince Harry in Eton College, where she worked at the time.

I don’t think I’ll make it to 200 donations but giving blood is part of my life. It’s still the cheapest place to get a drink and biscuits and I intend to keep going for as long as I am able to.