Cardiff-based Funeral Arranger, Howard Provis, has celebrated his 1,000th blood donation to the Welsh Blood Transfusion Service, after donating blood over an impressive 46 years.
Six years ago, he was honoured an award on behalf of the Welsh Blood Transfusion Service for donating blood 800 times. And after reaching the 1,000th mark this month, Howard, who is a Funeral Arranger at Co-op Funeralcare in Ely, has been recognised with an extra-special celebration and a cake.
Howard said: “My father was a paramedic and a naturally selfless person who donated blood for as long as I could remember. When I was 18, he took me to donate blood for the first time, which was a very special moment for us to share. From then, I decided to continue to donate blood for as long as I can.
“I am honoured to be donating blood for the 1,000th time as it‘s incredibly touching to think about how many lives could have been saved through the donations and how many people it has helped over all the years, while I have been fortunate enough myself to be in good health.
“Each donation is around a pint, so over the years, I’ve certainly given a fair share of pints in my time – I’ll be buying myself a pint (of beer) to mark the occasion! I’m looking forward to celebrating half a century of donating blood in the next few years, which will be a huge personal achievement for me. I strongly encourage anyone who is eligible to register to donate blood as the process is incredibly easy. It could potentially save someone else’s life or even your own.”
“I believe that it is important to give things back in life to those that need it most. When donating blood, I am physically helping the lives of people through my donating. Working in the funeral care industry, you are also giving back to people emotionally, and this year has been especially important.
“The last few months have been very challenging for us as an industry, but in this profession, you are hardwired to want to offer bereaved families exactly what they want for a funeral, irrespective of the situation. The restrictions introduced had a huge impact on what we could offer our families, which was emotionally difficult for all colleagues and I have experienced so many people suffering loss who sadly have not been able to physically comfort each other at a time they need it most.”
The Welsh Blood Transfusion Service needs over 400 voluntary donations of blood every day which are then sent to hospitals across Wales.
A single donation can be broken down into platelets, red cells and plasma, which all have a varying life span and can be used in different ways, so your single donation could help an individual who is having a blood transfusion, an organ transplant, a leukaemia or cancer patient and even a premature baby.
During the pandemic, the Welsh Blood Service are asking people to continue to donate and are asking specifically for male donors, black donors, and O-negative donors. For more information, please visit: https://www.welsh-blood.org.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/