SOUTHAMPTON residents are being urged to help fill a blood donation session at a local church.

NHS Blood and Transplant is appealing to blood donors to make appointments to donate blood at Thornhill Baptist Church on Thornhill Park Road.

Extra safety measures have been put in place including extra cleaning and wearing masks.

An NHS Blood and Transplant spokesperson said: “We need people who are fit and healthy to keep donating as normal during the coronavirus outbreak.

"We've put extra safety measures in place and safety is always our number one priority.

"We’re now doing extra cleaning and triage everyone who arrives so only people with no risk factors can enter the donation area.

“A lot of people have called us asking if sessions are still going ahead.

"We need them to know that our sessions and donor centres are still open and that travel to a blood donation session is essential for the NHS.

"Blood donation is a reason to do something amazing. Blood donation saves lives.

“We’re asking donors to follow the latest advice on our website and app and the advice from the Government.

"We’re regularly reviewing the situation and working closely with the Department of Health and Social Care, PHE, and the UK’s other blood donation services.

"Donations have dropped though our stock levels are currently still good because hospitals are cancelling routine operations.

"We need people to keep donating to make sure we can keep supplying the blood hospitals need in the coming weeks and months. Patients and doctors are relying on us to be there.”

All donors will be required to wear a face covering when donating. he face covering doesn't have to be a surgical mask but should cover your nose and mouth.

All donors are asked to make appointments or to call ahead rather than walking in.

Please call 0300 123 23 23 or visit to book an appointment to donate.