Raymond is rewarded after his 81st blood donation

Raymond Tilley, award for giving blood. 667B
Raymond Tilley, award for giving blood. 667B

A BLOOD donor, who gave his 81st pint of blood last weekend, was awarded a glass bowl to thank him for his years of service.

Raymond Tilley, of Dysart Road, Grantham, first gave blood in 1969 when his teacher at Grantham College offered his class a lesson off if they went to donate.

He said: “It was only a forty-five minute lesson but it got me out of college. Quite a few of us went.”

Since then Raymond has been back every six months and more recently, when the frequency limit changed, every four months.

He said: “I do it because hopefully I’m helping people out who need blood. I think I’m only a common blood type but it’s bound to help somebody hopefully.”

Even though Raymond, 62, has already donated 81 pints he has no plans to stop in the near future as he saw the positive affect it can have after his wife needed a blood transfusion.

He said: “It made it clear how it was helping. I’m going to carry on going until I’m forced to stop through one thing or another.

“I would recommend it to other people. It doesn’t hurt, sometimes I even watch them putting the needle in.”

Raymond, who is a trained first aider, said it only takes him about 20 minutes to give blood and he has only ever missed appointments on the rare occasions when he has been ill.

He added: “Just go and give it a try. All of the nurses are quite pleasant, they talk to you and can calm you down. They’re quite helpful.”

Spokesman for NHS Blood and Transplant Pam Prescott said it is a real achievement for Raymond to have made more than 75 donations.

She said: “Only three per cent of all donors reach this milestone so it’s a pleasure to congratulate Mr Tilley on his achievement of 81.

“Blood donors continue to make time to give blood come rain or shine and really are the lifeblood of our service.”

l To find out more details about how you can get involved and give blood go to www.blood.co.uk