Lorraine Hassall, 62, gave blood for the first time in 1977 at the age of 17 – the legal minimum age for blood donations – and has now celebrated her landmark 75th donation.
Lorraine, a catering assistant at Banovallum School, said that her father was a blood donor for many years, and as she suffered from heavy nose bleeds as a child, she wanted to give blood “as soon as she was able”.
"I’ve given blood regularly ever since, and only had to stop when I had my children,” Lorraine said, “I’m not bothered by needles at all.”
Lorraine has a B-positive blood type, which is rare as only an estimated eight percent, or one in 13, people has B-positive blood.
B positive is an important blood type for treating people with sickle cell disease and thalassaemia, which affect South Asian and black communities, where B positive blood is more common.
Lorraine said that she would encourage anyone who can give blood to do so:
"It’s pain-free, only takes around 20 minutes and you get a free cup of tea and biscuits.
"If this story means that even one person reads it and decides to go and give blood, then it’s definitely worth it.”
Lorraine said she plans to continue to give blood for as long as possible and if she continues to donate blood three times a year, as is the limit for women, she will able able to receive her 100th donation award in around eight years time.
Lorraine gives blood at Horncastle’s Stanhope Hall. There will be a blood donation session here on Monday October 17, from 1pm onwards.
Anyone who is fit and healthy, weigh over 50kg and are aged between 17 and 66 (up to 70 if you have given blood before) you should be able to give blood.
If you are over 70, you need to have given blood in the last two years to continue donating.
To find out more about becoming a blood donor, visit www.blood.co.uk/