NHS Blood and Transplant are encouraging people in Essex to donate blood, as thousands more people are needed to meet demand in the area.

The organisation has put the exact figure of people needed for this at 3,948 in the county.

Nationally one million more blood donors are needed over the next five years to ensure patients receive the right type of blood to save and improve their lives, with a particular need for Black African, Black Caribbean and younger donors.

A mass public campaign is being held this National Blood Week and throughout June to identify people with most needed blood types.

Young people and those of Black African or Black Caribbean heritage are being urged by the NHS to find out their blood type, by making their first donation at one of the many events being held at Blood Donor Centres in England.

There is a particular urgency for more donors of Black African and Black Caribbean ethnicity to treat people with sickle cell, as it requires regular transfusions.

How to become a blood donor

Attend a What’s Your Blood Type event or register today and book an appointment by visiting blood.co.uk, downloading the GiveBloodNHS app or by calling 0300 123 23 23.

Or if you are an existing donor and have not donated in a while, please book your next appointment, or keep checking back for future appointments at the website here.