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Fire stations being used for blood donation sessions

Date: 15th January, 2018

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is supporting the NHS by opening up two of its fire stations for blood donation sessions.

Both Salisbury and Weymouth fire stations are now being used on a regular basis, saving the NHS significant amounts of money.

Area Manager Byron Standen explained: “Whilst not every fire station is large enough to provide the space that NHS Blood and Transplant requires, we have been able to make these two locations available free of charge. There is no cost to us as the stations are crewed 24 hours a day; it is just a matter of moving vehicles out of the appliance bay for a few hours. We’ve been delighted to welcome the blood donation team to both sites already, and future sessions have already been booked.”

Salisbury and Weymouth fire stations are now among 28 nationally which open their doors to blood donors.

NHS Blood and Transplant is seeking more free venues across Dorset and Wiltshire and is appealing for people to make donating blood their New Year’s resolution.

Ian Trenholm, Chief Executive of NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We are really pleased to be working with Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service to establish new places to give blood. Salisbury and Weymouth fire stations have opened their doors to us to enable local people to donate easily. These new, free venues help to keep costs as low as possible for the wider NHS. Our life-saving donors give their time and their donations for free. We are seeking partners who will do the same, and let us use their venues at no cost. Most people don’t realise that, every year, we spend around £4m on venue hire for blood donation sessions, equivalent to a few pounds on every donation.”

He added: “We also need new donors of all ages to come forward in Dorset and Wiltshire to replace donors who cannot donate any more. Half of all donors are over 45, so it’s important we recruit more young people to donate blood, to help meet patient needs now and in the future.”

To register as a blood donor, visit www.blood.co.uk

The next sessions at Salisbury fire station in Ashley Road, Salisbury, SP2 7TN are on Thursday 18 January, 1.10pm to 3.30pm and 4.20pm to 7pm. The next sessions at Weymouth fire station in Radipole Lane, Weymouth, DT4 0QF are on Tuesday 20 February, 12.30pm to 3.30pm and 4.30pm to 7.30pm.

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