PETER Flavell has helped save the lives of at least 200 people since becoming a regular blood donor 37 years ago.

The 58-year-old father of five from Frodsham has so far donated 75 units of blood, and he joined other long-serving donors from Cheshire, Merseyside and North Wales for a celebratory lunch and awards ceremony organised by the National Blood Service to thank them for their ‘amazing’ support.

During the event at Liverpool’s Crowne Plaza Hotel, Mr Flavell was presented with a crystal plate by Helen Pawley, of Middlewich, who needed 27 units of blood to save her life after complications following the birth of her second daughter.

She said blood donors should feel proud of the number of lives they have helped to save and improve and hoped their commitment would inspire others to come forward.

Cathy Davies, for the National Blood Service, said: “The awards lunch is our way of recognising the commitment these people give. Blood is a vital resource in our hospitals and each donation can potentially save the lives of up to three people.”

Mr Flavell, a former banker who now works from his home in The Willows as a private health care broker, said: “I hadn’t realised my donations had helped so many people but that's what it's all about for me, trying to do something for others. “But actually giving blood is a doddle, really. It only takes half an hour and is no problem. I will keep giving – I’d like to reach my 100th donation – and I would certainly encourage others to do the same.”

The National Blood Service collects two million units of blood each year from 1.3 million donors – but still only 5% of the eligible population donate.

Anyone between 17 and 60 years of age, who weighs more than 7st 12 lbs and is in general good health, can become a blood donor – and can keep giving up to the age of 70.

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