COLUMN: Give blood, save a life

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Christmas is just a matter of days away now and I am sure many of you have spent hours finding your loved ones the ideal Christmas present.

For some people, the thing that is top of their wishlist may well be something money cannot buy, such as getting a date for that operation or the financial help they really need.

A Kirkby man contacted me recently who might well have written such a list. He has been waiting for major spinal surgery for months and keeps getting his operation cancelled – even as late as when he was gowned up and ready to go.

These cancellations mean he has been left in great pain and is unable to work, so his finances have also taken a hit.

He came to me asking for help and I am pleased to say we secured a new date for his operation in January and helped him successfully claim the personal independence payment he needs – plus he had some money back paid. I hope this gentleman will have a happier Christmas as a result.

I met with Paul Orton from Coxmoor Golf Club recently to hear about its exciting plans to open up the game of golf to a wider audience. The club members are working with schools, Portland College and other disabled groups to find ways to make the sport more accessible to disabled people and have some ambitious plans in the pipeline. I hope it will help spread the benefits of taking part in sport for the health and well-being of individuals and communities.

This time of year can be very hectic, but life – and illness – doesn’t stop just because it is Christmas. We all know how important it is to give blood but just 1.8 per cent of Ashfield residents are registered blood donors. Each donation can save or improve the lives of three people. So if you can, make and keep an appointment to give blood by visiting www.blood.co.uk and help make sure supplies don’t run too low this festive season.

Lastly I want to wish everyone a very merry Christmas. I hope you all have a fantastic time.