The Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) and the GAA announced details of a partnership to raise awareness of blood donation and access to the service for local GAA clubs and their members throughout the country.
The It’s In Your Blood partnership was formally agreed in June 2012 with presentations to Provincial Councils and County Boards across the country and at the IBTS National Blood Centre on Tuesday, it was formally launched by Uachtarán Cumann Lúthchleas Gael Liam Ó Néill and Andy Kelly, Chief Executive of the IBTS.
They were joined by inter-county GAA stars Tony Kelly (Clare), Eoghan O’Gara (Dublin), Anna Geary (Cork) and Laura McEnaney (Monaghan).
Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael, Liam Ó Néill commented: “We are delighted to lend our support to the 'It's in Your Blood' awareness campaign and would encourage our members and units to lend their support to this most worthwhile initiative.
“The provision of blood is hugely important. To those who already donate on a regular basis, I hope they continue to do so and to those who don't I would draw their attention to the crucial role they have to play, especially at this time of the year when the requirement is at its most acute.
“I wish everyone involved every success and hope this ongoing partnership can make a tangible difference.”
IBTS Chief Executive, Andy Kelly, added, “We are extremely grateful to the GAA for partnering with us on the It’s In Your Blood campaign. This will allow us to raise awareness of the 70,000 patients that need a blood transfusion each year, help us to facilitate people to give blood more regularly and inform new donors about giving blood.
“We are asking club members to encourage their club to sign up to this initiative at www.giveblood.ie and will ask the club to work with a Giveblood GAA club volunteer from within their own club who will promote local clinics to the clubs members, educate players and families about blood donation, and with the clubs support, mobilise the club to support local clinics and create new blood donation opportunities for members, players and the local community.
“We are very excited to have the GAA helping us get our message out through its club network. The IBTS and the GAA share a common reliance on volunteerism and community spirit. We believe people involved with the GAA are well placed to help us in our continued mission of maintaining a safe and sustainable blood supply.”
The It’s In Your Blood campaign was agreed in June 2012 between the IBTS and the GAA with the aim of:
Informing and Educating
Encouraging and Supporting
for GAA members to give blood through interaction and promotion at local GAA club level, including hosting blood donation clinics at their GAA club house.
To date 20 GAA clubs around Ireland host blood donation clinics on the grounds of their club and the IBTS is hoping, by the end of the year, to create an additional 20 GAA hosted clinics. In addition they want 400 clubs to sign up to promote and support existing community clinics – all of which is hoped will lead to 15,000 donations annually through the It’s In Your Blood partnership.
For further information, visit www.giveblood.ie