Melva Knight. Photo: ANDREW PERRYMAN.

THE Bendigo Blood bank is losing a top donor, the time has come for Melva Knight to call it a day.

For the past 30 years or so, Mrs Knight has been donating, but this year she turns 81 and it’s time to stop.

“This is my last donation because I’m going to be 81 at the end of this month,” she said.

“I’ve enjoyed doing it and I think it’s a great thing for people to do.

“When I first started donating, it was at the Anne Caudle and that was about 30 years ago.”

Mrs Knight began giving blood when she was 50 because her youngest daughter encouraged her.

“She asked me to come along, so I did,” Mrs Knight said.

“Donating is just like an everyday thing. You come in, fill out your forms and let the blood run through, then have a drink afterwards and something to eat.”

Mrs Knight is encouraging others to follow in her footsteps.

“Please come and give because you can save someone’s life,” she said.

Community relations officer Shae Smith thanked Mrs Knight and other blood donors, while encouraging others to help the cause.

“Because Melva can no longer donate blood, we’re calling on new donors to step up and become a regular blood donor,” she said.

Mrs Knight gave her 78th whole blood donation on Friday.

“She could have helped save 234 people’s lives,” Ms Smith said.

“If you’re aged between 18 and 70 and feeling healthy, please book an appointment to give blood.”

To book go to www.donateblood.com.au or call 13 14 95.