Students and staff from Whitchurch High School in Cardiff have been thanked by the Welsh Blood Service for rolling up their sleeves and giving blood to help patients in need.
More than 60 blood donations were recently made at the first blood donation session to be held specifically for students and staff at the school, potentially saving or improving more than 180 lives.
A further 18 blood donorsalso signed up to the Welsh Bone Marrow Donor Registry, joininga database of over 35 million donors from across the globe whose unique attributes could make them the only person in the world capable of saving the life of someone in need of a transplant.
Headteacher of Whitchurch High School, Mr Mark Powell, said:”We are very proud and excited to be a part of this initiative and have no doubt it will continue to grow from strength to strength. The Welsh Blood Service provide a crucial service to the people of Wales and we will do all we can to make a positive contribution to its efforts.
“We are a school that serves a community and do all we can to instil strong community values in our students. We always strive to make a positive difference to people’s lives, so to see our students come out to support this endeavour is testimony to their willingness as individuals to make a difference – they truly are an amazing group of youngsters.
“I am immensely proud of each and every one of them as we start our lifesaving journey here with the Welsh Blood Service.”
After making her first donation, sixthform student, Maddie, said:”I was so nervous beforehand because I’m not great with needles but it was absolutely fine, the staff make you feel so comfortable.
“I wanted to give blood here today because my mum had to have a blood transfusion years ago. Now today I’m helping someone in need like my mum.”
By hosting its own donation session, Whitchurch High became the eighth school to join a new Welsh Blood Service initiative to offer blood donation sessions at a selection of Wales’ largest post-16 education settings.
Alan Prosser, Director of Service at the Welsh Blood Service said: “We would like to thank the students and the members of staff who have selflessly contributed towards the 100,000 donations needed in Wales each year. They have shown fantastic commitment and great community spirit.
“It’s essential that we pass on how important donating blood is to the younger generation. By having the support of some of the largest schools in Wales, we can encourage more students to try donating as part of their school day. We hope that the actions of these students will encourage more people living in Wales to consider donating in the future.
“The blood collected is not just used for accidents and emergencies; it is also used for cancer and leukaemia patients who need regular transfusions, so it’s crucial we maintain a steady supply to support patients in need across the country.
“If you have never donated before, now is a great time to try.”