BLOOD is one of the most precious gifts you can give, but giving blood is something many of us have thought about, but few of us actually do.


In fact, just four per cent of people in the UK who are able to donate blood actually do so.


And of those that do more than half are over 45 years old.


Worryingly there has been a 40 per cent fall in the number of blood donors over the past ten years and fresh donors are desperately needed.


The NHS is in particular need of rare blood groups more common among black, Asian and other ethnic minorities.


So well done to the donors who have come forward since Bradford’s new blood collection centre opened its doors last month.


Since the new centre opened on May 16 it has collected more than 500 donations – enough to save hundreds of lives.


The new site at Kenburgh House, the former site of the Bradford and Keighley Registrar Office, is bigger, better and close to parking and public transport. It will also be open longer hours and on some Saturdays so there really is no excuse for not doing your bit.


The NHS needs more than 6,000 donations every day just to keep up with demand.


Every donation can be used to treat up to three adults or six children.


Later this month the new centre will be hosting an official opening ceremony. Some of the guests will include patients whose lives have been saved thanks to blood donations.


Why not pop along and show them you care by giving blood for the first time?