World Blood Donor Day 2018

Every year, on 14 June, countries around the world celebrate World Blood Donor Day. The event serves to thank voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood and to raise awareness of the need for regular blood donations to ensure the quality, safety and availability of blood and blood products for patients in need.


This year we interviewed Ishmael Evans (communications and Engagement Officer for Healthwatch Sutton) who regularly gives blood to find out more about why he gives blood and what happens when you do. 


Ishmael started giving blood in 2018. As a relatively new donor, we spoke to Ishmael to find out why he chose to become and blood donor and why he thinks it’s important for more people to donate blood. Check out our short interview with Ishmael below.


Ish Head web

Why do you give blood?

I’ve always wanted to give blood but only got around to doing it this year! I wanted to know what blood type I was growing up and as I got older realised how vital it was for a lot of people who visit hospital. A further motivation was that there has been a drive to get more donations from people of BME backgrounds.

Does it hurt to give blood?

No! (not for me anyway) There’s a brief light pinch when the needle goes in but it’s very quick and once the needles in there’s no pain.

What happens when you give blood?

You arrive at your donation centre and then fill in a health check form to make them. You have to have a drink of water or juice before you give as a large amount of your blood is made up of water.

You then have a quick test to check you’re iron levels are okay to give blood and if they are you then head back to the waiting area.

Once you’re called through to begin to donate you sit on a chair and a vein is found and then you start the process of donating.

How long does it take to give blood?

It’s around 5 - 10 minutes so once I’m in the chair so pretty quick. I usually watch the TV that’s on in background or check my emails.

How often do you give blood?

I give blood every 12 weeks. You have to have a break after donating and the length of time is different for males and females.

Where do you have to go to give blood?

I go to a blood donation centre in south west London. You can search on the website and find one not far from where you live/work

What would you say to someone who is interested in giving blood?

If you’re interested, head to the giving blood website  to see if you’re eligible to donate! Giving blood saves lives and it only take 5 – 10 minutes!