The 2021 Defence Blood Challenge was officially launched in Canberra this week, and will run until December 8.

The event encourages Defence members and their families, across Australia, to give blood or plasma and register their donation against their service tally.

Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld said Defence personnel would aim to give blood or plasma more than 10,500 times during the challenge.

“One blood donation can save three lives and one plasma donation can be used to create 18 different life-saving treatments, helping people with serious burns, cancer or brain disease,” Air Marshall Hupfeld said.  

“The demand for blood and plasma continues to grow, so there’s always more we can do. In 2020, more than 9500 donations were made throughout the challenge. 

“This year, we aim to roll up our sleeves 10,500 times to help those who rely on blood products to stay alive, or see them through a serious illness.”  

Sally Gavin, from the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood, said the Blood Challenge was not only a fun way to encourage blood and plasma donations, but was extremely beneficial for the Australian community. 

“Blood donation is an essential service and can still occur during COVID-19 lockdowns,” Ms Gavin said. 

“Red Cross Lifeblood donor vans will work at a reduced capacity to ensure social distancing requirements are met.

“We are very grateful to the Department of Defence for their annual support.”

Appointments can be registered at Australian Red Cross Lifeblood: Register your appointment

Lifeblood donor centres adhere to strict COVID-19 safety guidelines and protocols, and processes are in place to protect donors and staff.