The Olympics and Queen”s Diamond Jubilee “will cause dramatic fall in blood donations”

Busy year: The Queen

Busy year: The Queen”s Diamond Jubilee and other events in 2012 may seriously lower blood donations

Blood donations could ‘dramatically’ fall next year because of major events including the London Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Experts are predicting a ‘perfect storm’ could be created in 2012 by special events, extra bank holidays and a bumper sporting calendar.

More than nine out of ten donors give blood during the working week.

In 2011, thousands fewer people donated blood due to bank holidays around Easter and the royal wedding, according to NHS Blood and Transplant, which organises the blood donor service.

And it found that on one particular day last year, there were 851 fewer donations than in 2009 – a 12 per cent drop.

This was due to the combination of sunny weather, the football World Cup quarter final and Andy Murray’s Wimbledon semi-final.

Jon Latham, assistant director for blood donation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: ‘2012 is going to be an exciting year for the UK but we’re concerned that the cluster of major events could dramatically impact the number of blood donations coming in.

‘Approximately two million units of blood will be needed by hospitals throughout 2012, and the equivalent of 500 extra donations will be needed each week in the first six months to help us build blood stocks.’

‘We”re calling on the public to make regular blood donation a New Year”s resolution.

‘Whether you”ve never donated before or haven”t done for a while please book your appointment and help save lives in 2012.’

Distracting: The London Olympics could also affect blood donations, so hospitals are planning to stockpile units at the start of the year

Distracting: The London Olympics could also affect blood donations, so hospitals are planning to stockpile units at the start of the year

TV presenter Penny Smith, who is supporting the campaign, said ‘I have been a regular blood donor since I was 18 and love having a nice lie down and a biscuit while feeling terribly virtuous.

‘I”m so pleased that I”m able give blood this Christmas and have already made my appointment to do it again in 2012.

‘Giving blood is simple for the donor but it”s life-changing for the patient who receives it.

‘Some 7,000 donations are needed every day to make sure there”s enough blood for those who need it.’

Singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor said: ‘NHS Blood and Transplant needs 230,000 new blood donors every year to make sure blood stock levels are maintained.

‘I gave blood for the first time this year and plan on becoming a regular donor.’

Other celebrities supporting the 2012 New Year resolution campaign include comedian Dave Spikey, athlete Jo Pavey, Dancing on Ice star Jayne Torvill, Olympic bob skeleton winner Amy Williams, Derby County football manager Nigel Clough, former rugby league player Steve Prescott and TV presenter Ben Fogle.

Anyone interested in donating can call 0300 123 23 23 or visit the www.blood.co.uk website.