Stirling blood blitz

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Will Singer (author), LSIS Lee-Anne Cooper (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Stirling

Topic(s): Charities and Fundraising, Health, Fitness and Wellbeing, Australian Red Cross Blood Service, Defence Blood Challenge

Australian Red Cross Blood Service Community Relations Officer, Mrs Gina Tracey with Chief Petty Officer Maritime Logistics-Support Operations (ML-S) Toni Ralph at the Australian Red Cross Blood Service Rockingham Donor Centre. (photo: LSIS Lee-Anne Cooper)
Australian Red Cross Blood Service Community Relations Officer, Mrs Gina Tracey with Chief Petty Officer Maritime Logistics-Support Operations (ML-S) Toni Ralph at the Australian Red Cross Blood Service Rockingham Donor Centre.

HMAS Stirling donors were rewarded with the ‘best biscuits in town’ for a bloody good job after rolling up their sleeves to spike Navy’s tallies during the 2016 Defence Blood Challenge.

Raising the bar for Navy’s competitive spirit, Stirling personnel contributed 14 per cent of the group donations while Navy received the award for achieving the highest growth - a monstrous 38 per cent improvement from 2015.

Navy Ambassador for the 2016 Challenge, Lieutenant Chris Boardman said that the success was purely because of the drive given by passionate people like Stirling’s Red25 co-ordinator Chief Petty Officer Maritime Logistics - Support Operations Toni Ralph.
 
“I would like to pass on my gratitude and Bravo Zulu to each of you who got involved and helped Navy achieve the most successful group in the 2016 Defence Blood Challenge,” Lieutenant Boardman said.

“The need for blood continues year round and I encourage you to use the Red25 registration with the Red Cross Blood Service to maintain a running tally and foster inter-unit rivalry where possible.

“I believe this can be just a start of Navy making a massive difference and noting our great year in 2016.

“We have a real chance to contribute more than Air Force and even give Army a run for their money, but; that requires a year round effort to introduce more sailors and their friends and family to the blood donating lifestyle,” he said.

Blood donations can be made at centres across the country, and to thank people for their contribution and help replenish their energy post donation, the Blood Service gives away free milkshakes and biscuits (amongst other treats).

Chief Petty Officer Ralph said that it was a privilege to coordinate the Navy's Red 25 blood donation challenge for Western Australia.

“I am proud of our team effort towards the overall Navy contribution nationwide,” Chief Petty Officer Ralph said.

“It is an opportunity for Navy to support the local community and help save lives at the same time.

“I hope that in 2017 we will be in a position to beat the target of last year,” she said.

Only 6.3 per cent of Navy participated in 2016 which means there is plenty of scope for improvement.

In just three months, Defence personnel across the country gave a total of 6,991 donations, saving up to 20,700 lives, and the aim to donate all year round to assist in keeping the nation’s blood stocks high for the production of blood products and transfusions.

In 2017 Navy is requesting existing Red25 team members consider changing to plasma donations – which can be made as often as every two weeks.

That’s a lot of milkshakes and biscuits on offer for those able to help make a difference.

To establish your eligibility to donate and/or join the Navy’s Red25 team visit https://www.donateblood.com.au/red25.