AN incredible milestone has been reached by a Barry man who has been awarded for his 800th blood donation.

Howard Provis, 58, of Green Lawns, Barry has been travelling to Cardiff to donate blood once every four weeks for the last 40 years.

The Welsh Blood Service presented Howard, a funeral arranger at AG Adams and Sons Funeral Directors, with a certificate and a crystal decanter to mark his achievement, something that is reached by donors "few and far between" according to a spokeswoman.

"Congratulations to Mr Provis on his wonderful achievement," the spokeswoman for the Welsh Blood Service said.

"We are so proud and grateful for the help we receive from our committed and dedicated donors. We couldn't supply our hospitals with the vital blood products they need without people like Mr Provis taking the time to help save lives in Wales. We can't say thank you enough."

Howard, a former primary school teacher, has always been committed to helping people - beginning with joining St John's Ambulance as a teenager.

He also worked as a lifeguard while in college and went on to volunteer with many, many groups across Barry and south Wales including the NHS Welsh Ambulance First Responders and the Royal Air Force Association.

Howard's blood donating began at the age of 18 when he went along with his ambulance driver father and has never looked back.

"At the time you had to be 18, and you could only give blood every six months," Howard said.

"My father gave blood twice a year for 25 years. It's just in my nature to want to give, it's in my makeup.

"I just thought it was the right thing to do. To follow in my father's footsteps."

The introduction of the Apheresis donation method enabled Howard to donate once every four weeks and so that's what he did.

Howard remains motivated to donate as often as possible and he hopes to reach his 1000th donation mark in five years time.

"One of the most motivating factors is when you go in to give blood and you are told that you are matched with someone. That means that someone who is ill is desperately waiting for your blood there and then.

"To know that unit of blood will be getting supplied to someone who needs it is very motivating."