CESV Blood Donor Appeal

Save A Life

More and more we are hearing of very good initiatives that are intended to bring the community together in time of need and The Civil Emergency Service Volunteers (CESV) Meeting at the TRNc Ministry of Healthhave been trying to help promote a much needed, Blood Donor Early Warning system and this scheme is now being launched.

Yesterday 21st February 2013, a meeting was held at the TRNC Ministry of Health & Social Aid, chaired by Müge Tancer, Special Communications Assistant to the Minister together with representatives from Girne, Lefkoșa and Famagusta hospitals, Telsim, Credit West Bank and CESV when the scheme was fully endorsed by all parties and the following summary from CESV explains what “SAVE A LIFE” is all about. 

Save A Life

“What is it? 

It’s a way of contacting people willing to donate a unit of blCESV Training Pictureood in the event of patients requiring URGENT

  • Blood for operations
  • Blood for transfusions
  • Blood needed in the event of a major incident.

What do you need to do?

Send a text message with your blood group, and your nearest hospital (Girne, Lefkoșa, Famagusta) to:

0542 8800 112

What do we do?

We place your blood group/location into a mobile phone and when required send out a text asking you to donate at the location given. We will always try to match local donors to each request. As a regular donor you can donate until the age of 70. If you do not know your blood group, then the best option would be to arrange to donate a pint and you will be given the required information. You can also donate blood even if you are taking certain prescribed medicines. If you have any queries then these must be directed at the blood transfusion service.

Who are the Organisers? 

(left) Nil Zorlu Atai - (TELSIM) - Gamze Fuat (Credit West Bank) - Muge Tancer (TRNC Health Ministry) (right) The original idea was from Stephen COLLARD and progressed with the help of Daria (Dasha) DENISOVA and Nigel REEVES.

The backup team, and sponsors are: Cagla HAMI from CREDIT WEST BANK and Nil ZORLU from TELSIM .

How was it set up? 

Originally a meeting was arranged with an organisation already running a transfusion service. They were invited on-board from the start of this initiative but the invitation was declined by their committee.

Other organisations both expat and Turkish Cypriot have all stated that they will support this Save a Life campaign. All we asked from each charity or organisation was to send out a message to all of their members asking people willing to donate, to text to the special number. We will have no access to these organisations members’ personal data and do not wish to. It’s completely VOLUNTARY. We seek no donations of money, just donations of blood.

Why is it being set up?

Blood was required between 1st and the 4th of February 2013.There had not been enough donated due to a transfusion and operation both requiring the same blood type, A POSITIVE. I, ( Steve COLLARD) was called on the Monday and gave an arm full and sent out text messages to members of the Civil Emergency Service Volunteers . We managed to get another couple of extra donations to make up the shortfall.

On Thursday 7th of February there was another (left) Nil Zorlu and Steve Collard (centre) presenting Save a Life to Muge Tancer (right)phone call to me from Lena the nurse in charge of the blood unit in Girne hospital for 8 more units of A POSITIVE blood for a cancer operation. I again sent out text messages to all of the CESV members but most had given either over the last few days or had donated  in the last 3 months so would not be able to donate. Text messages were then sent out to almost everyone that I had on my phone.

Within 2 minutes my friends Murat from Girne fire station and Mustafa from Lefkoșa fire station contacted me stating that they were willing to assist and they would bring willing colleagues, other offers then came in and we managed to get the required amount plus 1 or 2 extra.

The system works by using text messaging (SMS). By the time the 20th message had left my phone replies of offers for donations were coming back in. It’s that simple

Do you already donate through an organisation?

There is no problem about this.

I have spoken to the blood bank managers. If, for example, you are due to donate next week and we need the blood today you will get your card stamped and there will be a credit to your organisation on their next donation day.

Giving blood next week will not save a life today so it’s a win-win for all.

Send your number to Save A LifeThis is PHASE 1 of this initiative and will be running from the 20th of February 2013.

We started to get the group together on the 12th of February and prior to the support from TELSIM, had organisations with total membership of more than 3000/ 4000 members.

So if only 10% were willing to donate that would be between 300 / 400 donors.

We now, through TELSIM, have the opportunity to reach every owner of a mobile phone in the Turkish Republic of  Northern Cyprus.

The English School of Kyrenia have been asked for some of their young designers to make up posters. These will be produced in English, Turkish and Russian.

There will be an official launch once the posters have been judged and produced, so please remember this number

0542 8800 112

When you send your text please put the “Save A Life” number in your phone contacts.

It may be you or a friend that needs this help.

Stephen Collard
Director of Operations
Civil Emergency Service Volunteers (CESV)
0548 845 5927″

So there we have it, a brilliant initiative to bring all communities together as is evident and we wish its future every success.

By Chris Elliott