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Dailies celebrate success of blood donor campaign

Hundreds of readers have pledged to donate blood after a campaign by two Norfolk-based daily newspapers.

The Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News joined forces for the New Blood appeal, and celebrated beating their target of 750 new donors by the end of December after almost 1,000 people signed up.

A total of 939 people across Norfolk and north Suffolk have pledged support, including former donors who had stopped attending sessions.

The campaign also attracted the support of Norwich City legend Darren Huckerby, who has given eight units of blood since starting to donate over two years ago, as well as around 20 youngsters from Norwich School who got involved after a talk at their school.

Nigel Pickover, editor-in-chief of both Archant titles, said:  “I’m thrilled to bits. Giving blood is so important, and there can be nothing better than helping to save people’s lives.

“The NHS blood service needs our enduring support – not just through this campaign but for life.”

Recruitment drives were held across the region to attract interest and raise awareness, while the paper ran interviews with people who have survived due to blood transfusions.

Among them was mother-of-two Vicki Kerr, who received more than seven units of blood when she gave birth to her son, Thomas, in 2005.

“I am very grateful to everyone who donated blood,” she said. “I went to the blood-donor stand at the Forum [one of the recruitment drives] to see if I could donate but unfortunately I can’t. If I could give blood, I would. Without the blood donors, I wouldn’t be here – it is so important that people give.”

Vicki Kerr (left) who had a blood transfusion after the birth of her son Thomas, with her partner Adie Russen and daughter Ellie. She has supported the Archant Norfolk papers' New Blood campaign