Team Red: Payment Express

Harriet has been a regular blood donor for over a decade and has saved over 60 lives through her individual donations. Since adopting New Zealand Blood Services’ (NZBS) Team Red at her workplace in 2018, she’s been instrumental in saving over 321 lives. 

Harriet has been stepping up to the plate since her high school days and has racked up over 20 individual donations – each of which has the potential to save up to three lives. In her own words, she donates simply because she can.

“Knowing I’m helping people out is a big push for me”, says Harriet. “And if I can help, why wouldn’t I?”.

It’s this same attitude that kickstarted the group donation programme at her work. As a long-standing donor, she’s all too familiar with the difficulty of finding the time to donate, a common barrier for donors that Team Red successfully tackles head on.

Team Red is an NZBS initiative with one sole purpose – to encourage people to donate blood in groups and it’s open to all work places, social clubs and even groups of friends. Upon hearing about it during one of her regular donations, Harriet reached out to her General Manager for permission to bring the group donation initiative to work. Harriet is not only the Logistics Manager for Kiwi company Payment Express, an innovative global leader in payment technology, she’s now also known as Team Red Captain.

Payment Express didn’t hesitate at the opportunity to allow staff members to donate blood on company time. The company has since welcomed Team Red with open arms, and despite having implemented the programme just recently, out of 120 staff they’ve already recruited 17 donors.

“NZBS makes Team Red super easy. And all it takes is an hours’ worth of your time to donate – it’s not much and the help you provide is priceless. We’ve got a little ‘blood squad’ going now”, says Harriet. “Everyone’s pretty chuffed about it”.

As Team Red captain, Harriet works out the logistics behind the blood donations, she also takes it upon herself to inspire fellow staff to join the cause. She keeps team spirits high by sharing stats on their group donation efforts and since learning needle phobia is a common barrier for potential donors, she’s encouraged staff to tag along to ease new comers’ first encounter with the process. She says she’s quite enjoyed the new role and since she often finds herself on deferrals for her iron deficiency, is happy to be able to recruit fellow donors while not being able to donate herself.

“I really enjoy the nature of the role as it allows me to continue helping during my deferrals. For those of us who can’t donate, it’s important to know there are other ways to help and I’ll help where I can. I’m just really grateful to my fellow Team Red members who are there to spot those of us that have to sit it out”.

Payment Express’ Team Red donations are scheduled every three months and what used to be department specific donations have now turned into mixed and matched appointments. Harriet says it’s a great way to get staff members socialising with colleagues they wouldn’t otherwise get an opportunity to meet.

“Team Red has brought really good morale to the office”, says Harriet. “We’ve managed to mix it around, so our colleagues get to meet fellow staff members on a more personal basis. We’re helping save lives and making friends along the way”.

Despite the short months since its fruition, this Team Red is clearly thriving and thanks to their collective efforts have recently placed as one of the top ten whole blood donors in Auckland. Whether it’s lack of time, needle phobias, or even deferrals, the ‘blood squad’ at Payment Express surpasses it all, inspiring us to help along the way, if we can.

To find out more about starting your own Team Red, click here or call 0800 GIVE BLOOD.

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