YOUNG people in Redditch are being urged to sign up to give blood with the NHS Blood and Transplant Service (NHSBT), following a decline in the number of people registering with the service over the past few years.

Fewer and fewer people in Redditch aged from 17 to 24-year-olds have come forward to give blood since 2007, and the service is launching a new campaign to try and encourage more people to get involved.

This year in Redditch, 122 young people gave blood, 50 fewer than the previous year, which ties in with a trend across the borough, and only 20 new donors registered with the service for the first time this year.

NHSBT spokesperson, Jon Latham, said: “The number of young people donating has been falling for the last decade but this year there’s been a sharp drop and we now need 100,000 donors to sign up in the next 100 days to start addressing the shortfall. We welcome all eligible new donors, but a failure to boost the number of young donors now will put a strain on the blood service in the years to come.”

Every year the service needs 225,000 new donors to register, just to replace existing donors who have dropped out of the system, and the shortfall in young donors will have a real impact on the service, which relies on them to make up approximately 40 per cent of new donors each year. Currently only half that amount are signing up, putting an increased strain on the 7,000 units of blood needed every day for vital treatments for health conditions including cancer and long term illnesses, people involved in accidents and in maternity care.

People of any age can find out if they’re eligible to give blood at or by calling 0300 123 23 23.