WE HAVE done it.

Thanks to Daily Echo readers, more than 3,000 lives will be saved.

The Daily Echo’s Gift of Life Appeal has seen 1,100 recruits signing up as new blood donors. That smashes our 1,000 target.

Such has been the success of the appeal that the National Blood Service (NBS) is set to use it as a benchmark for campaigns up and down the country to boost donor numbers nationally.

During the last four weeks the service in Hampshire has seen record numbers of people signing up and donating their blood, ensuring supplies are there for those who need it in the coming months.

With autumn looming, the threat of seasonal flu and predictions of a second wave of swine flu when children go back to school, there was a real risk of bloodstocks falling desperately low.

And it seems that our readers have relished the role of saving lives, enabling us to reach our goal of recruiting 1,000 new donors who will help to save the lives of 3,000 people.

The demand for blood is relentless and whether it’s a young child who has been knocked down by a car, a mother giving birth or a grandfather battling cancer – all need blood to survive.

Jonathan Sewell from the NBS said: “Thank you so much to everyone who has supported the campaign over this last month, which has seen record levels of new donors signing up and donating.

“This has put the NBS in a very strong position to maintain a healthy blood supply over the rest of the year.

“We would also like to say thank you to the Daily Echo for supporting the NBS in this campaign. Without their help we simply couldn’t get our vital message to the community in the same way.

“This campaign was all about raising awareness and getting people to understand the constant need for blood and new blood donors at a difficult time of the year, and to get the overwhelming response we did has been incredible.

“You’ve done something amazing. Thank you.”