ON 26 April 2016, Senior Australian Defence Force Officer – RAAF Base Williamtown, Air Commodore Craig Heap CSC, was proud to be presented with the 2015 Australian Red Cross Blood Challenge Regional Trophy on behalf of RAAF Base Williamtown donor participants.
The award was presented in recognition of the Base achieving the ‘highest number of blood donations in the Newcastle region’ last year and acknowledged the combined efforts of RAAF Base Williamtown community blood donors (including personnel, APS staff members, contractors and family members).
Air Commodore Heap said that it was an honour to receive the award on behalf of the Williamtown community:
‘This award is a clear reflection of the self-less dedication of our community to serve, protect and care for others. Volunteering to give blood, to save lives, is serving a community in need and I am proud of RAAF Base Williamtown’s willingness to serve in this capacity.”
Following the community’s success, The Australian Red Cross Blood Service also recognised the strong commitment and significant support of the RAAF Base Williamtown community by ‘doubling’ its donor mobile visits to the base in 2016 to accommodate increased donations which now occur every six weeks.
Williamtown Blood Challenge Coordinator, Mr Samuel Hays said Williamtown’s contribution to the Blood Challenge is making a real difference:
“Last year the Williamtown community helped save 5016 lives by its donations and I am pleased to say that we are on track to save more lives in 2016.”
Mr Hays went on to say that Blood Challenge participants have also answered the call to contribute to the growing demand for donations of other blood products:
“In addition to standard blood donations, plasma donations by Williamtown volunteers have been critical as the stock requirement for this product continues to increase by 10% per annum in response to new medical technologies and improved treatment methods.”
On reflection of the community’s efforts to date, Mr Hays said he was proud of the contribution of Williamtown Blood Challenge participants and new participants are of course always welcome:
“I would encourage all personnel, staff and family members to take up the challenge and get involved. Not only is it a personally rewarding experience – but importantly, your donation will make a meaningful difference to the lives of individuals and families.”
For more information or to make an appointment visit www.donateblood.com.au or call 13 14 95.