YOUNG people across Wiltshire are being encouraged to give blood.

In National Blood Week, which runs until June 15, NHS Blood and Transplant has released figures to highlight why more people need to give blood.

The percentage of 17 to 24 year old blood donors in Wiltshire is lower than the national average, and more younger donors are needed if there are to be enough in the future.

Each year 200,000 new donors are required to attend a donation session to replace those who can no longer donate for health or other reasons.

The service also predicts a dip in the number of people giving blood as the World Cup gets underway.

Jon Latham, assistant director for donor services and marketing at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We’re issuing a ‘call up’ for more to come forward because we know blood donation falls off the to-do list during hot weather and summer holidays, and big public events like the World Cup. Make a date to donate and please keep your appointment to help us maintain and ensure stock levels for the coming months and for the future.”

As long as you are fit and healthy, weigh over 7 stone 12 lbs (50kg) and are aged between 17 and 66 (up to 70 if you have given blood before) you should be able to give blood. If you are over 70, you need to have given blood in the last two years to continue donating.

To register and book an appointment to donate visit or call 0300 1232323.