A CAMPAIGN to help make up a shortfall in new blood donors by recruiting 100,000 New Donors in 100 Days, and championed by the Advertiser in Redditch, has been hailed a great success after the target was smashed two weeks early.

People came forward in their thousands to support the campaign run by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) which was launched following a dramatic decline in the number of younger donors signing up in 2012.

A total of 4,591 people from West Midlands showed their heart in the run up to Valentine’s Day joining the 119,907 that signed up across England and North Wales. The new sign ups will help to ensure future blood stocks are protected.

Shailesh Mistry, lead donor relations manager at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: "To have recruited 178 new donors in Redditch during the campaign is great.

"We are so grateful to the Redditch Advertiser for supporting our 100,000 new donors in 100 days campaign and contributing to our total.

"We'd like to thank everyone who has signed up."

Young people are vital to the blood service, with 17-24 year olds accounting for around 40 per cent of new donors each year. New donors are essential to blood donation in England and North Wales to keep donor levels stable.

Hollyoaks stars launched the “100,000 New Donors in 100 Days” campaign by modelling limited edition ‘Blood Sister’ and ‘Blood Brother’ t-shirts created by Red or Dead founder Wayne Hemingway.

The celebrity endorsements continued on social media with the likes of Jack Whitehall, Amanda Holden, Joe Dempsie and Saira Khan encouraging their Twitter followers to sign up.

The campaign was wrapped up recently with videos to say thank you posted by McFly’s Tom Fletcher and boyband Reconnected.

To find out blood donor eligibility and make a date to donate, visit www.blood.co.uk or call 0300 123 23 23. People can also follow NHSBT on Twitter or Facebook.