Team Red: a group, young and able
Phoebe Pratt is a real go getter – head girl at her school, leader of intermediate years at her church and regular volunteer at community fairs. While there’s already plenty on her plate, she’s been anxiously waiting to turn 16 and add one more thing to her ‘to do’ list: become a blood donor.
Every day in New Zealand, an average of 79 people require blood or blood products, and thanks to New Zealand Blood Service’ (NZBS) committed donors, there is always a reliable blood supply readily available to anyone in need, anytime and anywhere in the country. Eligible donors can sign up from their 16th birthday up to their 66th .
Phoebe says she has always been an advocate for helping others, so it was no surprise that she’d be onboard to join New Zealand Blood Service’s (NZBS) blood donor registry once of eligible age.
“I knew it was something I could do for the greater good and knowing I could save three lives from one donation well, I couldn’t wait to give it a go”, says Phoebe.
Phoebe knew she wanted to contribute and was delighted upon learning that she’d finally met the eligibility criteria – she donated blood for the first time in January this year.
“I was overjoyed! It just felt so good to do it, so good that I wanted other people to do it too.”
Phoebe not only joined the registry as a blood donor this year, she’s also taken initiative and organised a Team Red at her school to donate with her. Team Red is an NZBS initiative that motivates people to donate blood as a group – it’s open to businesses, organisations, social clubs, even groups of friends all in the hopes of recruiting more blood donors.
Originally, Phoebe thought of bringing her school’s executive team on board (the team she works with as head girl), but she soon realised the interest to help amongst her peers far exceeded her executive team, so she reached out to the entire school for volunteers.
“At the moment, we have seven people on board. We’ve all recently donated together for the first time and we can’t wait to do it again”, says Phoebe.
Their Team Red meets punctually at 7am on school grounds before departing together to their closest NZBS donor centre. Their school considers this excursion a school trip, so they can donate during school hours. The team donate, munch on a biscuit or two and are promptly back on school premises by 10am.
“As head girl, I go to assemblies and I talk about how important it is to donate blood in the hopes of encouraging fellow students to start at a young age. It’s exciting to bring people on board – it’s so rewarding to affect someone’s life in such a positive way as this.”
Phoebe’s Team Red was prompted by an idea, a simple idea to help others in need. Now, there are seven new names on the NZBS donor registry who’ve potentially helped save 21 lives with their first donation. Soon Phoebe will be adding ‘Uni’ to her to do list, but for now her Team Red is saving lives, one group donation at a time.
To find out more about how you can become a blood donor, click here or call 0800 GIVE BLOOD.