Blood drive returns

The National Blood Service (NBS) recently staged a successful return to campus, with just over one hundred donors giving blood.

Sami Wannell, Welfare Officer for the Students’ Union, who was instrumental in setting up the session, said it had gone “very very well”.

He said the session had been “solidly booked”, with appointments full by the early afternoon.

Over 126 staff and students attended, with 102 successfully giving a pint of blood. There were 14 new registered donors and 67 pre-enrolled donors. Around 60 people were turned away on the day.

James Nightingale, a third year engineering and business studies student, said he enjoyed the experience: “I was expecting it to feel horrible but you could hardly feel a thing, which is good.

“I’m not great with blood tests but this has made me feel better about the process. I think it’s good the NBS comes to campus, purely because everyone here seems so willing to give blood.”

The return of the NBS follows four years of absence after a disruptive protest by Warwick Pride during their last visit.

The society object to the NBS’s policy, which does not allow men who have ever had sex with another man to give blood. Warwick Pride contends this policy is discriminatory.

Although they did not stage a protest this year, the policy towards homosexual men is currently under review and the group plan to send a petition to the General Medical Council.

Lev Taylor, President of Warwick Pride, said, “The people working for the NBS don’t have any role in deciding policy. Its not fair to be targeting them.” Instead the society will be pursuing “centralised” actions.

He added, “Of course we are happy the NBS is back. It’s never been a protest about having the service on campus. We want as many people as possible to give blood, we disagree with the homophobic discriminatory policy.”

It is unlikely the NBS will be returning to campus until October because they have commitments elsewhere.

The service were complimentary about the management of the session and thanked Wannell in an email: “It was a very productive session much better run than we had anticipated which again is down to your help with setting this session up.”

Wannell hopes the service will attend more regularly in the future: “The aim is to eventually have one a term… If they get any cancellations, I’ll tell them to consider us.”


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