Dick Whittington panto duo give blood at the Athenaeum in Bury St Edmunds

Actors Chris Clarkson (Dame Winona Whittington) and Jessica Spalis (Dick Whittington) visited the Athenaeum, in Bury St Edmunds, just after Christmas to do something amazing – give blood.

Not only that, but in a bid to promote the importance of giving blood, they both turned up in their full costumes to give the team running the donations a boost.

This was actually Chris’ 74th donation, his blood type is A+ which roughly one in three people have so his donations are always very welcome and he has been making donations since he was 18.

He said: “I think it’s an incredibly important thing to do because it’s always needed, especially at this time of year”.

It was Jess’ very first donation today and she said that she had been inspired by her on-stage mum to donate, although she wasn’t actually sure what her blood type is, the donation was still very gratefully received.

Across England 900,000 people gave blood in 2017. This New Year people in Suffolk are being asked to be part of an amazing group of people who save lives. NHS Blood and Transplant needs around 200,000 new donors every year to maintain the supply for life-saving blood donations.

It’s quick and easy to register to become a blood donor. Visit www.blood.co.uk or download the app by searching ‘NHSGiveBlood’ in the app store. You can also call the Donor Line on 0300 123 23 23 or visit www.blood.co.uk. This year 1,659 people in Suffolk registered to give blood for the first time – will you join them along with Chris and Jess to help save lives?

Catch Chris and Jess in Dick Whittington until Sunday, January 14, tickets are available from the Box Office on 01284 769505 or www.theatreroyal.org

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