North Bersted man still saving lives at 67

A North Bersted man's role in saving up to 225 lives has been formally recognised.

Martin Clay received an engraved glass bowl as a thank-you for donating 75 pints of blood.

Each pint can be caused to benefit up to three people.

The presentation took place in a national ceremony at the Connaught Rooms in London's Covent Garden.

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Mr Clay (67)said: "Donating blood is a wonderful thing to do. I've got another two years to go. So, I hope to donate at least another eight pints.

"I don't know how many people's lives I'll end up saving by the time I have finished giving blood. When you get to ten pints, you get your first badge, and then you get another one and another one and then you reach 50 pints and you want to carry on even more."

He began to give his O group blood when he was on national service in the Army in 1959.

He soon came to realise the importance of his donations. He was serving in Aden when he was called upon to donate blood in a hospital to help a woman who had just undergone a miscarriage.

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His arrival to this country saw him carry on his annual donations. The frequency has increased over the years to his current four monthly visits to the local blood donor sessions.

"You get to see the same people each time," said retired spray painter Mr Clay, of Renoir Court. "It's like being part of a family. There is nothing to be worried about at all.

"You don't realise the blood is being taken and the tea and biscuits afterwards are really nice."

A spokesman for the National Blood Service said: "It's a real achievement for someone like Mr Clay to reach 75 pints, having started off donating just once a year. That means he has made a long-term commitment donating blood."

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