The generosity of two dedicated blood donors from Harborough was recognised during a ceremony hosted by NHS Blood and Transplant.
Pat Brafield (77) received an award for 100 donations and Nick Bevan (59) for over 500 blood and platelet donations at the event at Leicester.
The lifesaving efforts of 21 blood donors from the region, who had collectively made more than 2,950 donations, were also honoured with commemorative medals at the ceremony .
Guest speaker at the event was Leicestershire man Jon Dummer.
In 2004 Jon contracted acute myeloid leukaemia and was rushed to Leicester Royal Infirmary.
Jon’s immune system was severely weakened, which led to him also contracting septicaemia, pneumonia and a pulmonary blood clot in his lungs.
He spent 10 weeks in a medically induced coma in intensive care. Jon estimates that over the course of his treatment he had more than 100 blood and platelet transfusions.
Jon said: “I think blood donors are the unsung heroes.
“I would encourage people to give blood because they are doing what is the most amazing thing anybody could do for someone else, that is helping to save the life of a stranger.”
He added: “This is one of the best ways to achieve a happy way of life.”
Amanda Eccles, senior marketing co-ordinator at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “It is at this busy time of the year, in the run up to Christmas, that we would ask our donors to make and keep their appointments to donate.
“We need regular blood donations to help us to keep blood stocks healthy and help hospital patients this winter.
“Our loyal donors, like those honoured at our ceremony at the Grand, are very special to us, which is why such an event gives us the opportunity to say a real thanks.
“These donors are an inspiration to us all.”
Each blood donation can save the lives of up to three people.
If a donor has given blood 100 times, they have potentially helped save, or improve the lives of up to 300 patients. Out of the four per cent of the eligible population who give blood just one per cent reaches 100 donations.
To book an appointment call the Donor Line on 0300 123 23 23 or visit www.blood.co.uk