Blood donors from Stowmarket and Stonham have been recognised by NHS Blood and Transplant for their loyalty and commitment.
The efforts of 70 blood donors across Suffolk and Essex, who had made 5,971 donations between them, were handed crystal awards at a ceremony at Ipswich Town Football Club on January 26.
Awardees from Stowmarket included Keith Borrett, Kenneth Chapman, Angela Hart, David Lockwood, Linda Rampley and Yvonne Stone who have all donated 75 times.
Caroline Burgoyne and Edward Plant were recognised for donating 100 times.
Roy Smith from Stonham also received an award for his 75th donation.
David Lockwood, 61, whose eldest daughter needed a blood transfusion during the birth of her first child, said: “I’ve always known how important it was to give blood.
“I have continued giving so many times because I enjoy giving something back to society and knowing I am helping others.”
Each donation can potentially save the lives of up to three people so if a donor has given blood 75 times they have potentially helped save the lives of up to 225 patients.
Out of the four per cent of the eligible population who give blood, only three per cent ever manage to reach 75 donations and just one per cent reach 100.
Derek Carr, Lead Donor Relations Manager for East Anglia at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “Only 4 percent of the eligible population give blood, and I have witnessed the dramatic effect blood transfusions have made both to my friends, and to patients who I have visited as part of my work.
“These loyal donors are very special to us, which is why such an event gives us the opportunity to say a real heart felt thanks.
“Between them, they have saved thousands of lives, and improved the lives of countless others who have required blood transfusion. These donors are an inspiration to us all.”
Anyone wanting to donate for the first time should be aged between 17-65, weighing at least 50 kg (7 stone 12lbs) and in general good health.
If you’ve donated before, you can start again up to your 70th birthday and there is no upper age limit for donors who have donated in the last two years.
To book an appointment call the Donor Line on 0300 123 23 23 or visit www.blood.co.uk