The Australian Red Cross Blood Service is joining forces with entertainer Jimmy Rees to encourage more Australians to roll up their sleeves and donate blood, by launching the country's first 24hr donate-a-thon, Bloody Great Friday.
"Many of us may be surprised to learn that Australia needs a new blood donor every five minutes, however while one in three of us will need blood during our lifetime, only one in thirty donate," says entertainer Jimmy Rees aka Jimmy Giggle from ABC For Kids flagship program Giggle and Hoot.
"To mark World Blood Donor Day and highlight the need for new donors, the Blood Service is holding Australia's first 24-hour donate-a-thon, Bloody Great Friday, at centres in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane."
The inaugural Bloody Great Friday event aims to raise awareness about the need for 99,000 new donors in the next 12 months and to encourage people to become blood donors. Donor centres in Melbourne (Collins Street), Sydney (Town Hall) and Brisbane (Edward Street) will be open and collecting blood for 24hrs.
"You never know when you, or someone you love, will need blood. Donating blood is quick and easy so I encourage everyone who can to become a blood donor," Rees says.
"I recently experienced first-hand how vital it is we have enough blood donors when my baby son, Mack, unexpectedly needed an emergency blood transfusion. I am forever grateful to the donor who saved my son's life."
The Bloody Great Friday event will treat donors to:
Live music and entertainment
Celebrity chefs Nelly Robinson (Nel., Sydney), Frank Camorra (Movida, Melbourne) and Richard Ousby (Stokehouse, Brisbane) whipping up bespoke post-donation snacks
The Great 'Donor' Kebab cart
Couples Date Night – where duos are encouraged to book together for a one-of-a-kind night out
Messina ice-cream cart showcasing their bespoke Bloody Great Friday flavour: ABSO-BLOODY-LUTELY (Blood orange cheesecake gelato with red velvet cake and raspberry puree)
Bloody Great Friday's 24-hour centres will be open from 7pm on Thursday 13 June to 7pm Friday 14 June. Those that can't make it to one of the three CBD locations can still donate blood at more than 100 donor centres around Australia during normal operating hours.
Key facts about blood donation in Australia:
One in three Australians will need blood in their lifetime, but only one in 30 currently donates
The blood service needs a new donor every five minutes
Blood donations only last for 42 days so the need for blood never stops
There is no substitute for blood and we need blood of every type, every day to save the lives of thousands of Australians
A third of donated blood goes to people with cancer and blood diseases and 20 per cent to surgical patients
Australia needs around 25,000 donations every week.
Registrations are open, to make an appointment to donate please call 13 14 95 or visit donateblood.com.au.