AFTER the completion of a $1.1 million refurbishment, the Albury Blood Donor Centre is calling for the Border’s help in achieving some lofty new goals.
Doors have officially opened on the new centre, and the Red Cross Blood Service is looking to increase blood and plasma donations from 15,000 in 2017 to 17,000 by the end of this year.
Extended hours are now in effect at the David Street premises, as staff look to recruit an additional 500 donors.
Spokeswoman Cathy Chapman said the refurbishments, which turned the donation area into a more welcoming, open plan space, would be a big part of their efforts to recruit more donors.
“It’s been a long six weeks, our staff have been working very hard at our temporary site,” she said.
“There’s a lot of of new little things, but the main things are that it’s a lovely open-plan space, it’s cafe-style, and hopefully more friendly so that we got those new donors we so desperately need.
“We had over 40 donors on our first day, we hit the ground running which was fantastic.”
As for the donations, Miss Chapman said while the centre was pleased with its progress towards the 2018 target for donations, there was always room for more.
“We’re tracking OK, with the new centre we need to do 17,000 donations each year, and 10,000 of those need to be plasma,” she said.
“The Albury Donor Centre is looking for 500 new plasma donors just in 2018.
“Plasma is really crucial, it’s made into 18 different medications and other lifesaving things, it’s used a lot in cancer treatments, to aid newborns and mothers as well as a host of other uses.”
Longtime donor Pam Haysom, who has donated at various centres since she was 18 years old, said she was hopeful the refurbished Albury location could attract new donors.
“It’s good to see that a place like this has been modernised,” she said.
“Come and donate – it doesn’t hurt.”
Boasting a background in pathology, Miss Haysom said it was crucial for everyone to understand the importance of donating blood.
“When I discovered plasma, I became a lot more regular,” she said.
“We were well aware of the need for blood to be donated.”