15 October 2012

Country’s newest ‘Blood Bank’ set to help save hundreds of Kiwi lives

Westpac staff around the country will soon be rolling up their sleeves to make life-saving deposits through blood donation.

The New Zealand Blood Service is pleased to announce that Westpac has joined Partners for Life, a new group programme which provides an easy and flexible support system for companies and organisations of all sizes to help their staff donate blood regularly as a team.

Westpac is the first nation-wide corporate to sign up to Partners for Life, bringing more than 5,000 potential donors on board.

A win-win for both parties, the partnership will enable Westpac staff to help others in their communities through blood donations, and will assist NZBS in its mission to grow the number of regular donors so that more people are available when needed. There is no financial contribution; the focus is regular blood donations to help save Kiwi lives.

“We are very pleased to have a highly respected national business like Westpac join our Partners for Life programme. This partnership sets a new standard for corporate social responsibility and provides a great example for other companies to follow,” says NZBS Chief Executive Fiona Ritsma.

“This is a community-good that organisations of all shapes and sizes should consider.”

The partnership is being launched with a blood drive at the Westpac headquarters in downtown Auckland on Friday, October 12, which will be packed to capacity with more than 100 donor appointments including CEO, Peter Clare. Together, the team will have contributed to saving the lives of up to 300 people*.

Mr Clare says he’s thrilled to see the number of employees already signed up to donate.

“Westpac has a long history of caring for New Zealanders and our community and this partnership is a real and tangible way for us to keep doing this - by donating blood we can literally save people’s lives,” he says. “Our hope is to continue to help add to the number of people already giving blood on a regular basis and make a real difference”.

“I enjoy the sense of community that I get every time I donate. And to think that each time I do, I can help save three lives – there are few things quite as directly important that I can do!”

The Partners for Life group donation programme caters for big and small organisations with group coordinators who work with NZBS Donor Recruiters to make a commitment to regularly donate blood as a team. It includes flexible options such as using Donor Shuttles for groups or organising on-site blood donation collections.

Organisations who want more information about the NZBS Partners for Life programme can contact their local NZBS donor centre or go to http://www.nzblood.co.nz/Give-blood/Partners-for-Life


Why join Partners for life:

Apart from the obvious benefits to knowing you and your organisation are saving lives:

Morale: Saving lives together is the ultimate team builder that can instill pride within an organisation that is committed to making a difference.

Blood is truly equal: From the newest team member to the Big Boss, everyone’s blood is equal in the donor chair – a true team effort.

Reputation: Partners for Life is a great way to build a stronger community and national profile for your organisation and meet social responsibility objectives


Partners for Life makes donating blood even easier

The way the Partners for Life programme works helps remove some of the day-to-day barriers to donating more regularly:

Appointments that slot easily into your work day every few months

Transport to and from donations: Already over 900 groups arrive at donor centres and mobile blood drives each year via our donor shuttle service.

On-site collections for larger groups or organisations

Not donating as part of Partners for Life? You can make an appointment online at www.nzblood.co.nz or phone 0800 NZ BLOOD. We have early and late night opening hours at many centres and can help arrange group appointments via phone.


The need for new donors is constant

  • More than 40,000 Kiwis will need blood or a blood product this year
  • 17,000 new donors are needed this year to maintain the donor database
  • NZBS aims to grow the number of donors so that more people are available when needed
  • More than 140,000 blood donations are needed each year
  • Only around 4% of the eligible New Zealand population donate regularly -  on this basis Westpac’s team of 5,000 has the immediate potential to contribute 200 donations and help save at least 600 lives*, and likely many more