Following our story about a Newport mother’s tribute to blood donors across Wales, one of our readers has been in touch to talk about the importance of donating blood and how just one donation can save the lives of many patients in need.

Lynne Strong has been a blood donor for 50 years, providing an incredible 204 units.

“Donating blood is something I can give for free”, she said.

“I don’t have to pay to help somebody. It only takes half an hour, and the help you can give is phenomenal.

“It has been a privilege and a tick on my bucket list to get this far.”

Mrs Strong, who now lives in Bassaleg, first gave blood when she was a sixth-former at Ebbw Vale Grammar School.

Back then, she was impressed when the Red Cross nurses offered donors a free cup of tea, but she says things have changed a lot over the years.

As well as giving blood to the Welsh Blood Service, Mrs Strong has also donated platelets – a similar procedure that removes from a donor’s blood some of the platelets essential for stopping bleeding and bruising.

Platelets are used to help treat people including new born and premature babies, cancer patients and patients in need of emergency care.

To commemorate Mrs Strong’s 200th unit donated, the Welsh Blood Service invited her and similar donors to a celebratory event at a Cardiff hotel, where she was presented with a glass plaque thanking her for her continued generosity.

“It was nice to be recognised”, Mrs Strong said of the award.

“It was a delightful evening, too, and I keep a photograph from that night on my family wall at home.”

A spokesperson from the Welsh Blood Service said: “Only 3% of the eligible population currently donate, which is why we’re so thankful to donors like Lynne who’ve selflessly taken the time to donate blood.

“Her commitment over the years has potentially helped saved the lives of 600 people.

“For anyone looking to do something incredible, why not take an hour out of your day to give blood? Visit or call 0800252266 to start your lifesaving journey today.”

Tesco’s Cardiff Road store in Newport will host a blood donation clinic on Friday (June 15), 10.45am-1.45pm, and 3.15pm-6.30pm.