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Blood donor turned away from giving pint

PUBLISHED: 13:05 06 March 2010 | UPDATED: 16:58 30 June 2010

A BLOOD donor saw red after he was refused permission to provide a pint at a session in Great Yarmouth.

Stephen Smith thought it was the perfect opportunity to donate when he spotted the mobile National Blood Service unit outside the town hall last week.

A BLOOD donor saw red after he was refused permission to provide a pint at a session in Great Yarmouth.

Stephen Smith thought it was the perfect opportunity to donate when he spotted the mobile National Blood Service unit outside the town hall last week.

However the publican and step-daughter Kirsty Baker were told they could not give blood as they were not borough council employees.

Stephen, 45, who runs the Lichfield Arms in Southtown, has been a blood donor for the last decade, but work commitments mean he often finds it difficult to attend sessions at Great Yarmouth Racecourse. Now he says he is so annoyed that he will not give blood again.

He said: “We were told the session was just for the council staff members, which really got my back up. It was my day off, I'm normally very busy running the pub and it's not always convenient getting up to the racecourse.

“There are always adverts saying how much blood is needed on the TV every night, yet I get turned away when I want to donate.

“I have to work 18 hours a day seven days a week, council staff work 9-5 days a week and have their own van.

“There were only a handful of people there, if the National Blood Service parked at my pub they would get more donors.”

The National Blood Service runs a high profile advertising campaign under the slogan 'do something amazing and save someone's life.'

Just 4pc of the population are regular blood donors, with supplies used to treat people with illnesses like cancer and accident victims.

Borough council communication manager Karla Symonds said: “The blood service goes to several workplaces and we are one of those as we have more than 400 employees.

It is the decision of the National Blood Service for this to be a staff session, but the town hall could be used for a public session.”

No one from the National Blood Service was available for comment at the time of going to press.

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