Page last updated at 10:54 GMT, Friday, 4 December 2009

Couple ask for the gift of blood

Jane and Daniel Cluff
Jane and Daniel Cluff donate blood up to three times a year

A couple from Oxfordshire surprised their wedding guests by throwing out the traditional wedding list and asking them to donate blood instead.

Daniel and Jane Cluff, both 35, from Abingdon, have never needed a blood transfusion themselves.

The pair have both donated blood since the age of 18 and thought it would be a good idea to encourage more people to sign up to the National Blood Service.

Twenty-five of their 120 guests agreed to donate blood.

'Quite surprised'

As well as the invitations, guests had a chance to find out more about giving blood via an information board they made especially for the day.

"Some people were quite surprised," said Mrs Cluff.

"A couple of friends said they'd been meaning to do it for ages it actually spurred them onto donate which was really good and hopefully they'll continue doing so."

Jonathan Sewell, lead donor relations manager for the National Blood Service, said: "A lot of people do tend to go for a big gift list at weddings these days, so for someone to turn round and be as generous as this is incredible."

Mrs Cluff, a social worker, and Mr Cluff, an occupational therapist, married in the summer at Lains Barn near Wantage.

Seven thousand units of blood are needed every day to meet hospital demand. Last year 2.1 million donations were collected from about 1.6 million donors. That figure reflects only 4% of the eligible population, giving two or three times a year.

With some exceptions, many people aged between 17 and 65 can become a new blood donor.

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