Navy aims high for Defence Blood Challenge

Published on LEUT Emily Kennedy (author), ABIS Sarah Ebsworth (photographer)

Topic(s): Australian Red Cross Blood Service, Defence Blood Challenge

The Navy's ambassador for the Australian Defence Force Blood Challenge 2013, Petty Officer Boatswains Mate Cartrena Skinner of NUSHIP Canberra, at Fleet Base East in Sydney. (photo: ABIS Sarah Ebsworth)
The Navy's ambassador for the Australian Defence Force Blood Challenge 2013, Petty Officer Boatswains Mate Cartrena Skinner of NUSHIP Canberra, at Fleet Base East in Sydney.

Navy is aiming to achieve 2000 donations in the annual Defence Blood Challenge this year which kicked off on 1 September and finishes on 30 November.

The aim is to turnaround past performances in past challenges where Navy's donation rates have been behind Army, Air Force and the Australian Public Service. Last year, Army achieved 1191 donations and Navy reached 553.

Defence Blood Challenge Ambassador from NUSHIP Canberra, Petty Officer Cartrena Skinner, said it will take commitment from the Navy community to reach the target.

“Due to deployments and operations as well as those who are unable to donate due to medical or physical conditions, a target of 2000 seems like a large number. However, with around 14,000 serving Navy members, this target is within our reach,” she said.

“Army has a target of over 2000 donations this year, so let's make it a healthy competition.

“Even if you are unable to donate, I would implore all personnel to spread the word to their family, friends and clubs to help Navy achieve 2000 donations and help us to win this year. It is always about the ‘team’ and how the team works,” she said.

“To achieve our target this year, we only need 25 whole blood and seven plasma donors per state per month. Therefore, I simply ask people to spread the word and, for everyone who is willing and able, to roll up your sleeve and donate blood.

“Not only will you help Navy win, but you will also potentially save a life. Could there be a better reason?” she said.

To ensure your donation counts, all donors need to register with Club Red. This can be done either at the centre at the time of donating or online at http://www.donateblood.com.au/who-can-give/club-red/join-group.

This is the fifth year of the Defence Blood Challenge which is Australia’s largest annual blood donation event. It is conducted annually to support the Australian Red Cross Blood Service (ARCBS).