Mitre 10: Why giving blood with your colleagues is Kiwi as

Everyone knows that DIY is in Kiwis’ blood. It’s what we’re known for, being innovative and making the best of the resources we have. And blood itself is one of our most precious resources, saving and improving Kiwi lives every day of the year. That’s why mighty DIY experts, the staff at Mitre 10, are giving blood and encouraging others to do the same, making blood donation as much a part of Kiwi culture as home improvement.

With around 21 staff members from Mitre 10 MEGA Hornby now donating, together the team is saving hundreds of lives every year. We caught up with two of the Mitre 10 Hornby team at a recent mobile blood drive.

Janene made her first donation in February this year and came back to give a second time as soon as she could. We asked her what it means to donate. ‘Giving blood means I am able to help people less fortunate than myself.’

In a recent survey we asked non-donors why they didn’t give blood. One in five told us that they had simply never thought about donating. Janene says that the same was true for her: ‘to be honest, I had never thought about it before they started doing it at work.’

Employers have a crucial role in making sure that New Zealand has enough blood to meet its needs. To encourage the workforce – and managers – to participate, we make it as easy as possible to donate. Join our ‘Partners for Life’ programme and we will provide a shuttle service, taking staff from their workplace to a donor centre or blood drive and back again after donating. For larger groups we will come to your office and set up a workplace collection on-site.

Donating blood can unite teams, and employees often embrace their role as blood donation champions. ‘I completely understand that NZBS needs people like me to help recruit more donors,’ Janene tells us. Josie Aitkin, the Partners for Life coordinator at Mitre 10 Hornby, is fantastic at rallying and leading her team, championing blood donation.

Esta, who works in the Customer Service team at Mitre 10 Hornby, tells us that ‘New Zealand Blood Service has made it easy.’ As well as providing transport or workplace collections, we also give our Partners for Life coordinators free marketing resources and support them closely to get their colleagues giving. Esta says that ‘the adverts at work reminded me that I could help’.

Why should employees give blood with their colleagues? ‘It’s quick and easy. It doesn’t take much time,’ Esta says. ‘More people should give. If I or a family member needed it, I would like to know that there was a stranger willing to help us.’

At New Zealand Blood Service we encourage anyone wanting to organise a blood donation session with their work colleagues to get in touch. Call Sandra Greenland on 07 839 9644 to see how your organisation can get involved.

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