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Milestone blood donation awards for HMP Berwyn staff

A maintenance worker and prison officer at HMP Berwyn have received milestone awards for their dedication to improving and saving lives by donating blood.

Terry Rees (maintenance) and Kelvin Vernon (prison officer) were given the awards by the Welsh Blood Service at a recent donation session for staff at the prison.

For Terry it was the 75th time he has donated blood, having started when he was in the Armed Forces in 1983.

Over the past two years Terry has worked at HMP Berwyn, having previously worked at three other prisons during his career.

The husband of a biomedical scientist, Terry said he knows the difference that giving blood can make to hospitals and patients in need.

Speaking about the blood donation sessions at the prison, Terry said: “It’s much easier to donate at work.

“Our three blood donation sessions at HMP Berwyn have so far been a big success. At the last session we collected 65 units, which is a fantastic outcome.”

To date the 75 donations Terry has given could have potentially saved the lives of 225 people, as each donation can save up to three lives.

His next milestone will be 100 donations, which he could reach within seven years.

Terry added said: “If someone you knew needed blood, then it’s nice to think that it would be there ready for them.”

Prison officer Kelvin Vernon also received a milestone badge for his tenth donation – however this was the first time he had done so at HMP Berwyn’s sessions.

Kelvin first started donating blood after being approach five years ago at his previous job at Ivor Williams and has previously donated in Coedpoeth.

The 10 donations Kelvin has given could have potentially saved 30 people.

Sessions first began at HMP Berwyn in October 2017 and since then the Welsh Blood Service has collected 161 units of blood from staff. Enough to save potentially 483 lives.

Without live-saving donations such as these, the Welsh Blood Service would not be able to supply the 19 hospitals in Wales with the orders requested.

The Welsh Blood Service needs to collect 450 donations everyday in order to meet the needs of hospitals across Wales.

To find out more about the Welsh Blood Service visit www.welshblood.org.uk or search ‘Welsh Blood Service’ on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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