NUSHIP Canberra people do their bit to boost numbers

Published on LEUT Emily Kennedy (author), ABIS Jesse Rhynard (photographer)

Location(s): Sydney, NSW

Topic(s): HMAS Canberra (L02), Australian Red Cross Blood Service, Defence Blood Challenge

(From left) LSML-S Alister Harrison, SMNBM Dylan Carew, ABCSO Chris Carrick and LEUT Emily Kennedy from NUSHIP Canberra after donating blood, at the Red Cross Blood Donor Centre, Sydney. (photo: ABIS Jesse Rhynard)
(From left) LSML-S Alister Harrison, SMNBM Dylan Carew, ABCSO Chris Carrick and LEUT Emily Kennedy from NUSHIP Canberra after donating blood, at the Red Cross Blood Donor Centre, Sydney.

With the Ambassador for this year’s Defence Blood Challenge, Petty Officer Cartrena Skinner, being part of NUSHIP Canberra’s ship’s company, personnel are well versed on the importance of donating blood.

30 people from NUSHIP Canberra have already given blood and the drive is on to get more people onboard before the Defence Blood Challenge ends on 30 November. With people spread across various sites in Sydney and Williamstown in Melbourne the Blood Challenge has lived up to its name.

Leading Seaman Steward Alister Harrison donated blood for the first time as part of this year’s Challenge.

“This was my first time donating blood, and I have to admit it was really easy,” said Leading Seaman Harrison.

“I was surprised to learn that one in three people will need blood at some stage, yet only 1 in 30 people donate.

“I would encourage everyone to donate. People in the ADF often work in difficult and dangerous situations so giving blood helps not only the sick but also those who become injured or wounded serving their country.

“When I was finished donating blood I was offered biscuits and a milkshake - it doesn’t get better than that,” said Leading Seaman Harrison.

Seaman Bosun’s Mate Dylan Carew is a regular donor but had not donated blood recently.

“The Blood Donation Challenge motivated me to donate again. Sometimes finding time in working hours and between duties it is more difficult and easy to put off,” said Seaman Carew.

I would encourage everyone to make the time to donate - if you are medically able to, why wouldn’t you?” he said.

Navy is aiming to outdo the Air Force and Army this year, but a late run will be required if Navy is to be successful.

The Defence Blood Challenge this year kicked off on 1 September and finishes on 30 November.

Defence Blood Challenge Ambassador from NUSHIP Canberra, Petty Officer Cartrena Skinner, said it will take an effort from everyone across the Navy Community to ensure Navy gets good results this year.

“To make sure your donation counts the most important thing to remember is to register as part of Club Red before you donate - otherwise it won’t count towards the Navy tally,” she said.

People can either register for Club Red at the Centre prior to donating blood or for those that already have a donor identification number, they can register online for Club Red at www.donateblood.com.au/who-can-give/club-red/join-group.

People can also choose to donate plasma. Plasma can be donated every two weeks as opposed to full blood donations which can only be done every 12 weeks.

“Plasma donations do take a little longer, but if people can get one or two plasma donations in between now and November 30, it could significantly boost Navy’s numbers in the 2013 Defence Blood Challenge.”

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). The 2013 Defence Blood Challenge finishes on 30 November 2013.

Imagery is available on the Royal Australian Navy Media Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20131535.