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Praise for motorbike blood delivery volunteers

Medical experts have praised a charity which uses motorbike riders to deliver vital blood supplies to hospitals.

Volunteers at Northumbria Blood Bikes transport emergency stocks between the hours of 7pm and 7am, which saves health trusts having to pay for taxis.

The organisation works in Northumberland and Tyne and Wear and has just started delivering to Darlington Memorial Hospital.

"The gift is the gift of life"

The NHS is launching a major campaign in the region to encourage more people to give blood.

The number of regular donors has been falling consistently for a decade and doctors say they need 100,000 people to come forward in the next 100 days to address the shortfall.

Sixteen-year-old Christie Dalgleish from Carlisle is only alive today because of seventy tranfusions she received after developing aplastic anaemia three years ago.

Her mother, Jennifer Dalgliesh, says that the importance of people giving blood cannot be overstated.

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Appeal for 5,000 new North East blood donors

The NHS wants to recruit 100,000 new donors in the next 100 days to protect future blood stocks. Credit: NHS Blood & Transplant

The NHS Blood & Transplant team want to recruit 100,000 new donors in the next 100 days to protect future blood stocks.

Every year 225,000 new donors are needed to replace existing donors who drop out of the system.

This year, the need is more urgent following a dramatic decline in the number of younger donors signing up.

The Give Blood campaign says young people are vital to the blood service, with 17-24 year olds accounting for around 40% of new donors each year.

Of the 5,000 donors needed from the North East, approximately 2,000 are expected to be in this age bracket. But the number of young donors registering this year has seen a particularly sharp decline, with a 50% drop in the number of 17 - 18-year-olds registering compared to 2011.