A donor who has given blood more than 250 times has received a special award for reaching the milestone.

Leigh Strong, from Loughton, received a commemorative medal during a special ceremony at St Pauls Church, Hammersmith, earlier this month.

The 38-year-old graphic designer started giving blood as soon as he was old enough to, following in the footsteps of his mother, who was also a donor.

He has since given blood or platelets more than 250 times.

Mr Strong said; “I started off as a blood donor and went on to donate platelets and plasma.

“I have friends who have been helped by blood after childbirth and my father-in-law and a close friend received blood transfusions as part of their treatment for leukaemia.

“As a donor there is no greater feeling than knowing the hour that you spare could be giving a family back their mum, dad, sister, brother, daughter or son.”

In total, 66 blood and platelet donors from London and the surrounding areas were recognised during the ceremony.

Of all the people in the UK who give blood, just one per cent will make 100 or more donations.

One unit of blood donated can save or improve the lives of up to three people, meaning 100 donations can potentially help save the lives of up to 300 patients.

For more information on giving blood, visit: blood.co.uk or call the NHS donor line on: 0300 123 23 23.