BLOOD donors who may have saved or improved nearly 8,000 lives have been rewarded for rolling up their sleeves.

Six donors from County Durham were presented with crystal awards from NHS Blood and Transplant for reaching their 75th blood donation.

Every donation saves or improves the lives of up to three people, meaning the donors have helped up to 7,950 casualties between them.

Those receiving awards were: Steven Hunter, from Darlington, Ruth Hawken, from Hurworth, Eric Wilson, from Bishop Auckland, June Kneller, from Middleton in Teesdale, Brian Lyall, from Darlington, and Peter Sowerby, from Darlington.

Donna Batty, Lead Donor Relations Manager at NHS Blood and Transplant, thanked them for their commitment and dedication.

She said: “They are an inspiration to us all and we hope that others will follow in their footsteps to save and improve the lives of many people.

“We always need new donors. The more people who register and donate, the easier it is for us to collect the blood the NHS needs.”

Donors must be aged between 17 and 65, weighing more than 7st 12lbs (50kg) and in general good health.

For information, or to book an appointment, call 0300-123-2323 or visit