Caring Barton blood donor has given 100 units in almost half-a-century
A blood donor from Barton has been rewarded for giving more than 100 units over nearly half-a-century.
Robert Petchell, 66, donated his first pint of blood in December 1965 when he was 19.
And 47 years later he is still doing it.
Mr Petchell said: "I gave my first pint of blood when the gentleman who used to live next door to me said he was going to donate blood and I went with him.
"It is no problem to do it and doesn't hurt.
"After the first time you get used to it and it is okay.
"It is a very important thing to do because hospitals need a lot of blood every day to save people's lives.
"Hopefully it might help somebody in the future, which is a good feeling."
Mr Petchell said he had only missed two sessions during the time he had been donating blood.
He said: "When I first started, I was donating blood twice a year and then when the system changed I gave blood three times a year.
"Men can now go four times a year, which I think is great, and I will be doing that myself.
"As long as it is going out of my arm and not into it I am fine and I hope it can help somebody.
"The process is a lot quicker than it used to be and I can be home within an hour after donating blood and you don't have to lie down for 10 minutes."
It has recently been revealed that more blood donors are needed in North Lincolnshire.
NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) has urged more people to become blood donors to help with the shortage.
This year, NHSBT has tried to build up more blood stock levels because national events and celebrations often distract people from attending blood donating appointments.
Mr Petchell said: "I would recommend donating blood to any person and think the scheme is very important.
"I am proud to have reached the milestone and hope to continue to give blood forever."
Mr Petchell had received a crystal plate after donating blood more than 75 times – and has now received a crystal decanter for making more than 100 donations.
NHSBT bosses say that each blood donation can potentially save the lives of three people.
Only around four per cent of people give blood and of that four per cent, only one per cent manage to reach the 100 donation mark.
To become a blood donor, call 0300 1232323 or visit the website, www.blood.co.uk