‘My blood will save three lives, that’s a great feeling’

Investigations journalist Emma Youle donates blood for the first time

Investigations journalist Emma Youle donates blood for the first time - Credit: Nigel Sutton

Investigations journalist EMMA YOULE gives blood for the first time.

Donating a unit of blood takes an hour on average and will help save three lives

Donating a unit of blood takes an hour on average and will help save three lives - Credit: Nigel Sutton

Like many people I have never donated blood. It’s something I’ve thought about over the years but just never got around to. So when I’m offered the chance to attend a session at a local church hall, I jump at the opportunity.

There are donors of all ages there and it’s a hive of activity. On arrival I’m given a medical questionnaire to fill in, quick and easy, although I have to call my mum to check the odd detail and am sent to eat a sandwich as you shouldn’t give blood on an empty stomach.

Next a nurse takes a tiny pin-prick of blood from my middle finger to test for iron levels before I’m given the all clear to donate.

There is a mild stinging sensation as the needle is placed into my left arm. But I don’t feel faint or light-headed, the commonest fear among new donors.

Within minutes I’ve given a unit of blood which I’m told will save three lives. I wonder when an hour of my time last made such a difference. The session ends with a 10 minute rest and an array of free biscuits. They taste all the sweeter for having helped someone in need.

To find your local donor session visit my.blood.co.uk/Home