USyd blood donations to recommence next year

Red Cross Blood Service vehicles have not been on campus since early 2018

If you haven’t seen the unmissable red donation trailers on Eastern Avenue recently, there’s a reason­­—the Australian Red Cross Blood Service were stopped from setting up on campus for the most part of the year.

According to the Red Cross, their vehicles were prohibited from parking on the esplanade for staff and student safety. The last mobile unit was last on campus in the first half of the year.

“We’ve worked closely with the university to find an alternative location, but we’ve not been able to secure a space that meets the requirements of the [Donor Mobile Units] (such as clear access, level ground, turning space) and also the requirements of the university,” said Jemma Falkenmire, a representative for the NSW’s Blood Service branch.

Red Cross’ cessation was thought to be done in preparation for the opening of parallel F23 Administration and Life, Earth and Environmental Sciences buildings earlier this year, as the blood donation units were previously parked nearby to the new buildings.

“Due to recent construction works on Eastern Avenue it was not practicable to park the Red Cross vehicle in its usual position for safety and access reasons,” explains Campus Infrastructure Services.

“Now construction has been completed, the Red Cross blood donation will resume its location on Eastern Avenue while on the Camperdown Campus in 2019.”

Blood donation units were not the only vehicles to be spurned from Eastern Avenue this year. An oBike vehicle was caught unloading a number of bikes directly in front of Admin Building, after its temporary fencing was taken down. Campus security requested both the bikes and vehicle be removed.

USyd’s demographic has had a significant impact on health services and blood donation sources.

Approximately 2000 registered USyd students have donated blood in the past, both at neighbouring Red Cross’ donor centres and the mobile service on campus. With each blood donation helping three recipients, this equates to 6000 people.

“[Red Cross] would like to thank the University of Sydney, it’s staff [and] students, for all their life saving donations to date,” said Falkenmire.   

The Blood Service encourage interested students to continue donating blood at their Town Hall Donation Centre until the arrangement is finalised with both parties, and they are able to continue their work in the new year.