Bob Wayne can still remember the first time he gave blood.
“Are you coming then?” said the then young electricians Rod and Stuart Parker. “ Everyone else is going.”
That was 50 years ago.
In those days, it was almost part of the ‘lad culture’ that the apprentices and young men working in Horncastle paraded their courage by turning up at the Drill Hall to donate blood.
That started a 50 year journey for Mr Wayne, which reached a milestone recently when he joined the elite band of people who have donated their 100th unit of blood.
Come rain or shine, Mr Wayne has never missed an appointment.
He explained: “It’s been no great sacrifice”.
“I am not clever enough to be a surgeon, not caring enough to be a nurse, not brave enough to be a rescue worker.
“However, for most of my adult life I have had the enormous satisfaction of knowing that almost certainly I have helped save lives.
“Modern technology means that separate components of one donation can be given to three patients, that’s 300 people’s lives enhanced.”.
In his early years of donating, blood was only taken twice a year.
More recently, this has been increased to three sessions a year which has allowed Mr Wayne to ‘catch up’ for the times when family and holiday commitments have taken him to distant parts of the world.
There is no age limit for existing donors, which means Mr Wayne can carry on donating until, as he says, they ‘screw the lid down!’.
Mr Wayne agreed to the interview to encourage other people to donate blood.
He adds: “It’s just a few minutes out of your day, three times a year.
“Surely, that’s not too much to ask.
“You event get a cup of tea!”
○ If you would like to be part of a great British institution and help save lives, visit the NHS Blood and Transplant website www.blood.co.uk or telephone 0300 123 23 23.