Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) staff and elected officials are rolling up their sleeves to join the Australian Red Cross Blood Service Councils’ Challenge.
TRC People and Organisational Development portfolio leader Cr Megan O’Hara Sullivan yesterday answered the call to donate blood. TRC has tallied 11 donations in the opening days of the three-month Councils’ Challenge.
TRC Water and Waste Committee Chair Cr Nancy Sommerfield and Deputy Mayor and Infrastructure Services Committee chair Cr Carol Taylor yesterday booked donation appointments.
Cr O’Hara Sullivan said Council was pleased to continue its long-term support of the Australian Red Cross Blood Service by participating in the nation-wide Councils’ Challenge as well as throughout the year.
“The Challenge has a light-hearted competitive element in addition to its more serious work supporting people who depend on blood products daily,” Cr O’Hara Sullivan said.
“Council sees the current Challenge as a way of highlighting the importance of seeking more donors across the region.
“Everyday these valuable donations save and improve the lives of people with serious medical conditions, including patients on dialysis, cancer patients and haemophiliacs.
“Apart from patients undergoing regular treatment, no one can foresee when injury or an accident will require emergency intervention.
“Thankfully, there are people who continue to give regularly, but the Blood Service always welcomes new donors to keep stocks available for all uses.
“Red Cross statistics tell us one in three Australians will need blood or a blood product during their life. One in 30 Australians presently donates blood.
“Council actively supports giving blood and is a top five member of Red25 in Toowoomba, with around 200 staff participating in the program.
“TRC staff have given 232 donations this year. This means Council staff have helped save 696 lives through their generosity of spirit and commitment to blood donation.”
TRC finished the 2018 Councils’ Challenge in sixth place nationally and second in Queensland behind the Gold Coast.
Australian Red Cross Blood Service regional partnerships manager Sandee Thompson encouraged people to book an appointment to make a donation.
“To ensure our service meets the growing patient demand for blood and blood products, it’s vital that we attract new donors all the time,” she said.
“Our regular donors are feeling the pressure, particularly over winter, so now’s a great time to give it a go.
“Blood products have a short shelf life which means we need to maintain continuity of supply.”
A whole blood donation takes around an hour to complete (including a pre-donation interview), while plasma donations take around 90 minutes.
New donors can register online at www.donateblood.com.au or call 13 14 95.
Caption: Cr Megan O’Hara Sullivan (left), Cr Nancy Sommerfield and Deputy Mayor Cr Carol Taylor (right) along with TRC Safety principal Ben Gatfield are backing the Australian Red Cross Blood Service Councils’ Challenge.