The Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) is kicking off a season of blood donation fixtures at Scotland’s national stadium – and wants to add more big venues to the league.
Around half of the blood donated in Scotland is collected in local sessions - in town halls, churches and community sessions around the country. However, with the social distancing requirements necessitated by the pandemic, many of these smaller donation sessions have had to be cancelled.
However, a number of football clubs around the country - namely Hampden stadium, Partick Thistle and Hearts - have already stepped up to help out, making their premises available for lifesaving blood donation sessions around the country. We are hoping more clubs will answer the call.
SNBTS Associate Director Lynne Willdigg said,
'We're obviously having a bit of fun with the messaging, but there's a serious issue behind it. Giving blood saves lives. Every time you give blood, you could save or improve the lives of up to three people. However, because of the pandemic, we have an immediate, urgent need to find bigger venues for blood donation, and we're making a plea for anywhere with large accessible spaces to come forward and help. Football clubs are brilliantly placed, and we're over the moon that Hampden Stadium, Partick Thistle and Hearts football clubs have stood up to be counted - what they're doing will make a quantifiable difference to the lives of patients around the country.
'If you have a big venue that you're willing to let us use, please contact us.'
Giving blood is classed as an essential activity, and Scotland needs 3,000 new donor signings this year.
SNBTS Associate Director Lynne Willdigg
'We're also hoping to reach a whole squad of new donors by working together with football clubs. Giving blood is classed as an essential activity, and Scotland needs 3,000 new donor signings this year. No matter what tier you're living in, if you're fit and well and aged 17 to 65, you're actively encouraged to give blood in Scotland.'
'Football fans can't watch live matches at the moment, but these club partnerships give them the chance to give blood in a place they love, while helping people in desperate need. Not only that, they'll get a drink and biscuits for their trouble. Everyone's a winner - which isn't something a football fan can always say!'
To give blood anywhere in Scotland you must make an appointment. For social distancing purposes, you are asked to come to appointments alone (or with a household member who is also donating); asked to wear a mask throughout the session (except during health check and while donating); and to come no earlier than five minutes before your appointment. We update blood stocks daily, helping you to make an even bigger difference by giving blood when it is most needed. This is because blood cannot be stockpiled, and has a shelf life of only 35 days.