A dedicated blood donor from Langham has been rewarded for rolling up her sleeves and giving blood an incredible 75 times.
Valerie Banks, 67, became a donor 40 years ago after her sister Sylvia needed an emergency blood transfusing during an operation.
She has given blood on a regular basis ever since and was given an NHS Blood and Transplant Emerald Award for her efforts at an awards ceremony in Leicester.
Valerie has potentially saved up to 225 lives by her donations.
Valerie, who lives in Lodge Park, said: “It was really brilliant to get the award.
“Giving blood is such a lovely thing to do.
“At the ceremony they had someone who had received lots of blood and it makes you feel fantastic to know that what you’re doing makes such a difference.
“My sister needed a transfusion when we were young and when a family member has been saved by it, it’s a reason to start.
“When the Christmas decorations are down, the award will be taking pride of place on the mantelpiece.”
Valerie was among 50 other donors who received awards on the night.
She said she has no intentions of stopping rolling up her sleeves and is urging others to register too.
Valerie added: “It’s such a nice thing to do and I’ll keep giving blood for as long as they let me.
“I would really encourage others to do it. It doesn’t hurt and you get a free health check when you do.
“It’s so worthwhile.”
Anyone aged between 17 and 65, weighing more than 7st 12lb and in general good health can become a blood donor.
There is no upper age limit for donors who have donated in the last two years.
For more information or to book an appointment call the Donor Line on 0300 123 23 23 or visit the website at www.blood.co.uk