‘My blood will save three lives, that’s a great feeling’ says first-time donor

Investigations journalist EMMA YOULE gives blood for the first time.

Like many people I’ve never donated blood. I always thought I should, I know the urgent need for blood, the lives it saves, but I just never got around to it over the years. So when the chance to attend a session at Hornsey Parish Church hall in Crouch End presents itself, I jump at the opportunity.

I’m surprised as I arrive to see what a hive of activity there is, with donors of all ages doing their bit. I’m given a medical questionnaire to fill in. It’s quick and easy, although I have to ring my mum to check the odd detail and am sent off to eat a sandwich as you may faint if you give blood on an empty stomach.

Next a nurse takes a tiny pin-prick of blood from my middle finger to test for iron levels before I’m given the all clear to donate.

There is a mild stinging sensation as the needle is placed into my left arm. But it’s nothing too uncomfortable and I don’t feel faint or light-headed, the commonest fear among new donors.

Within minutes I’ve given a unit of blood, which I’m told will help save three lives.

I wonder when an hour of my time last made such a difference.

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The session ends with a 10 minute rest and an array of free biscuits - Orange Clubs, Mint Clubs, macaroons, a playground feast.

It tastes all the sweeter for knowing I’ve helped someone in desperate need.

To find your local donor session visit my.blood.co.uk/Home