Inspirational Oulton Broad blood donor has helped save hundreds of lives
WE all take so many things for granted.
But thankfully there are some people around, such as pensioner Christine Goldsmith, whose generosity we can count on in our time of need.
This week, Mrs Goldsmith, 66, from Oulton Broad, was recognised for her dedication in giving blood after making her 102nd donation in Lowestoft.
She is believed to have helped save more than 300 lives since she first volunteered to become a blood donor at the age of 18.
Mrs Goldsmith first gave blood when she worked at the Pye TV factory on School Road in 1963. Since then, she has continued to give generously after her first blood donation badge acted as an incentive to go on to the next one.
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Recalling her first donor session, she said: 'I knew the blood donation team came to the factory. It was a case of the factory foreman saying 'You, you and you, go and give blood' and so off we went, although I didn't know what to expect.'
Now she encourages other people to give blood by making them aware of how important it is for saving lives.
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She said: 'I ask them if they know of anyone who needed blood because of childbirth or operations and where they think the blood comes from.
'We take things for granted really. We are so used to going to the shops and getting what we want. We don't think where things come from, where they are made or, in this case, who donated the blood.'
Georgina Norris, donor relations co-ordinator for the NHS Blood and Transplant service (NHSBT), presented Mrs Goldsmith with a crystal decanter during a blood donor session at Lowestoft Baptist Church on Tuesday.
She said the retired shop assistant was 'an inspiring example to others'.
She added: 'Reliable and dedicated blood donors like Mrs Goldsmith are absolutely vital for us to maintain blood stocks and supply hospitals with the blood they need.'
Mrs Goldsmith, who has an A-positive blood type, dedicated her award to the memory of her friend Sally Bidwell, who died recently, and she stressed the importance of donating after her mother and sister both needed blood. She said: 'I am over the moon to think that I have done something like this.
'My best friend, Sally, died four days before I made my 100th donation. We were friends for 45 years so I am dedicating my award to her memory.'
?Anyone aged between 17 to 65, weighing more than 50kg (seven stone, 12lbs) and in general good health could become a blood donor. There is no upper age limit for donors who have donated in the last two years.
NHS Blood and Transplant will be attending the Lowestoft airshow on Saturday, June 23 and Sunday, June 24 to recruit new blood donors.
The team will be based at the NHSBT recruitment tent on the seafront, in front of the Claremont car park, between 10am and 4pm.
Anyone wanting to help recruit new donors should contact Hayley Shaw on 01603 351951 or e-mail: email@example.com to confirm your interest.
To book an appointment to make a donation, call the donor line on 0300 123 23 23 or visit www.blood.co.uk