‘Skill of staff is useless with no supplies’

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If ever you were looking for a reason to give blood, little Alfie Hook should be all the inspiration you need.

Today, we tell the story of his dramatic arrival into the world – weighing just 1lb 15oz and born in a hospital toilet. To look at him now you would not guess the incredible battle for life he endured in his first few months.

But if it were not for people taking the time to give blood, it could have been a very different story.

The Evening News fully supports the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service’s campaign, which this year encourages everyone to be aware of their blood group and to “give before you go” on holiday.

Supplies of blood are always at a premium in the summer months when stocks can run at 20 per cent lower than normal. This year is shaping up to be particularly difficult as major events, such as the Jubilee and the Olympics, compete for time to attend donation sessions.

If the service knows who they can call on when supplies run critically low, it could make all the difference.

Little Alfie and his parents are the proof. They will never know the people who saved their child’s life but will forever be in their debt.

The immense skill of the staff at the ERI would be useless without the donated blood, which kept him alive in those first critical moments.

Alfie’s heartwarming story should encourage everyone who is able to sign up without delay. Everyone has it in them to become a lifesaver.

Spanning centuries

How likely is it that the new Forth crossing will be held up as a thing of beauty more than a century from now?

Given our recent record on major building projects, most of us would settle for it simply being held up in any way at all that far into the future.

That is not to say that the new bridge will be an eyesore. But thinking about our expectations certainly puts the achievements of those who built the original Forth Bridge into perspective.

What those great Victorian engineers created is not just a national icon in Scotland – it is an international treasure.

Getting it listed as a World Heritage Site, alongside the Capital’s Old and New Towns, will put it on a par with the great pyramids of Egypt and Peru’s “lost city” of Machu Picchu.

That would be a fitting tribute to those who created it as well as all those who died in its construction.

And a second World Heritage Site would be a great boost for our tourist trade – reminding visitors that there is much more to see outside the city’s historic heart.