One in three Australians will need a blood transfusion, and students at The Armidale School are rolling up their sleeves for the cause.
Twenty three students from years 10-12 have signed up to become regular donors for Team TAS and they hope to inspire others by mooting the Vampire Cup, a challenge between the schools of Armidale for which donates the most blood.
“We’ve all realised it’s not that bad, the pin-prick at the start is about the worst of it and when it’s all over you get a milkshake and a biscuit, which is always a bit of a driver for teenagers,” said Year 12 student Saxon Hughes, who decided to rally his peers after hearing the call for more peers seeing his sister donating blood and for some years.
“The daughter of our Director of Boarding has had to have more than 40 transfusions since being diagnosed with Leukaemia last year, so that has made it all the more important and relevant. It’s something you can do for the rest of your life, and with a lot of students in Year 10 and 11 donating, hopefully it’s something that will continue through the years.”
Headmaster Murray Guest said the process has educated students in the many important uses for donated blood, and as they are now notified when and where their blood is used, is a further incentive to make donating a lifelong habit rather an a one-off event.
“Linking this service to an appreciation of its importance to those in need and inspiring a habit of donation distinguishes it as service learning rather than simply an act of community service and that is central to our ambitions as a school. I congratulate those who have taken up the challenge and given something of themselves and look forward to blood donations becoming a part of the right of passage for senior TAS students,” he said.