Personnel representing all three services turned out in droves to support Lifeblood during a visit by the Mobile Donor Centre to RAAF Base Edinburgh.

Navy, Army, Air Force and Australian Public Service members rolled up their sleeves on September 13 to pledge support for the recently launched 2021 Defence Blood Challenge, which is aiming to secure 10,500 donations by its conclusion on December 8.

A number of first-time donors added to their service tallies. 

Flying Officer James Thornhill, from the Surveillance and Response Systems Program Office, was surprised how simple the process was.

“This is the first time I donated, and today with the Mobile Blood Donor Centre being here, it was a good reason to come down and support team Air Force,” Flying Officer Thornhill said.

“It’s for a really great cause and it was so easy and simple to do it. 

“I’m really glad I’ve done it now and it definitely won’t be my last.”

Donating for his sixth time, Private Joshua Salvini, from the 1st Armoured Regiment, welcomed the convenience of having the mobile donor van visit his place of work.

“Being able to give blood on base is super easy because you don’t have to worry about taking time off work,” Private Salvini said.

Having been inspired to give blood many years ago by his father, Private Salvini said it was a way to give back to the community.

“The first time I gave blood it was my dad who really pushed for it because he is a paramedic, and then my school had a blood challenge come around and I thought it would be a good time to get on board,” he said.

“It felt really good giving blood and donating to the Army Lifeblood team, and I encourage everyone to get on board and roll up a sleeve.”

The significance of the donations made by Private Salvini and Flying Officer Thornhill were gratefully recognised by Jen Salter, from Lifeblood South Australia and Northern Territory.

“Our Defence Forces have been so incredibly supportive over the years and we’re expecting them to continue to be again this year,” Ms Salter said.

“There has never been a better time to roll up your sleeve and help, and in the process of spending about 10 minutes in the chair you can help to save up to three lives so it doesn’t get much more rewarding than that.”

Register your appointment at Australian Red Cross Lifeblood and start your donation journey today. Remember to make your donation count towards your chosen service to add to their tally. 

Lifeblood donor centres adhere to strict COVID-19 safety guidelines and protocols.

Processes are in place to protect donors and staff. It is safe to give blood during this time.