Ulster Unionist Party Leader Robin Swann MLA, today made his 50th blood donation in the Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Centre at Belfast City Hospital.
The North Antrim MLA said: “Today certainly marks a significant milestone in my commitment to blood donation.
“I started donating blood at school and it came with the added attraction of two free periods off class to donate and an additional period to recover.
“However it got me into a good routine and it is in recent years when I became a Father that the importance of blood donation has come very close to home as my son has gone through repeated surgical operations both in Northern Ireland and in England.
“For those who have donated, I want to say thank you and I am very grateful.
“I would appeal to everyone to take the opportunity once in a while to make a blood donation and particularly now.
“I hope it never happens but you never know when you or your loved ones will need the support of a blood donation.
“Traditionally blood donations are lower throughout the festive period.
“If all of us take a bit of time out between now and Christmas to donate, you can make a real difference and save a life.”