Donors deliver a pint for a pinta

Leicester Dairy Delivery Firm Kirby And West Has Joined Forces With The Blood Transfusion Service To Get More People Signed Up To Donate – And It'S Started With Its Own Staff.

Donors deliver a pint for a pinta
As part of a 'pinta for a pint' campaign, staff from the Blood Transfusion Service's Vaughan Road base recently set up a stand at Kirby and West's Richard III Road depot, with mascot Billy the Blood Droplet meeting float drivers as they returned from their rounds and persuading them to deliver a pinta of a different kind.

More than a quarter of staff signed up and almost as many more took away leaflets and asked for further information. Donor Centre Business Co-ordinator Clare Harding described this as 'a terrific take-up'.

“The response was fantastic – normally our take-up rate is about 4%, so we were really impressed with how involved the Kirby and West staff wanted to be and are grateful to the company for helping us,” she said.

The company, which already runs a charitable trust and donates to local community projects through its Doorstep Lottery-sponsored

scheme, was tempted to join forces with the BTS, after learning how some existing staff had already been inspired and following an accident involving one of their own roundsmen in 1993. Tony Sutton, 53, who is now the company's Retail Manager, had been delivering milk to a house in Oadby when a motorist hit him, knocking him out and leaving him with head injuries.

Tony was in a coma for three weeks, during which time he needed blood transfusions to keep him alive. Whilst keen to give something back, Tony himself is prevented from donating because of his own condition, but his workmates have more than made up for it over the years. Receptionist Jill Netherton has been giving blood for more than 25 years and has made over 60 donations altogether, roundsman Frank Bingley, has been donating for 19 years at Market Harborough and David Barnes one of the company's admin workers is a 'Gold Card' BTS holder after also donating for several years.

Now MD Graham Smith and the other staff are also joining the donor list following the recent awarenessraising day, and Graham has urged other companies to follow suit.

“It's something we've all probably considered at one time or another but put off for various reasons,” he said. “Many of our staff, myself included, didn't know what was actually involved, where to donate or what exclusions there were, but Clare and Emma from the BTS were very helpful and informative, and we're hoping our publicity posters as well as workmates' recommendations, will encourage others to donate as well.

“It's a really worthwhile thing to do and can help save lives. More and more people's lives have been affected by cancer over the years, and this is one way they feel they can help to contribute to the treatment and caring of cancer patients, as well as a host of other health conditions.”