Ms JENNY AITCHISON (Maitland)—According to The Australian Red Cross, each blood donation can help save up to three lives. During the past year people of Maitland have rolled up their sleeves more than 11,420 times to donate blood and plasma. A quick look at the maths shows the lives of more than 30,000 people have potentially been enriched through these donations.

This week is National Blood Donor Week and it coincides with the remarkable milestone of Peter Kirsop, an Ashtonfield donor who has just clocked up his 300th donation. Peter, who is 61, is a long way from finished. He intends to keep donating until he's 81, just as his mother did. As a plasma donor, Peter is able to donate fortnightly instead of every 12 weeks. He is on track to donate around another 500 times and record a total of more than 800 donations. A donor since the age of 18, Peter's commitment to donation was strengthened when his three-month-old daughter Sophie required a major operation and needed donated blood herself.

Peter's story is a great reminder that donating blood takes just an hour of your time, but it could make a lifetime of difference to another.