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Donate Blood at Town Hall Donor Centre

Home > Sydney > Charity | Free
by Katie Fisher (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living and studying in Sydney
Published February 13th 2014
Save 3 lives and get a free lunch

I'd say I'm an irregularly regular blood donor. I've donated 5 times since I was 16. Some donations were 3 months after the other whereas my most recent was the first time in almost 2 years (in my defence my iron was low so I was unable to donate for a while).

Now I've always donated in those tiny little blood donor mobiles. You know the ones: a cross between a camper van and a bus with these little foam mattresses you lie on while you stare at the ceiling wishing everything would happen just that little bit quicker so you can get your biscuits and be on your way.

But, good blood donors of Sydney, I am here to tell you why you should donate blood at the Town Hall Red Cross Blood Centre. Forget the cramped blood bus. Forget staring at the ceiling. If the blood bus is a backpacker hostel than the Town Hall blood centre is like a luxury 5 star hotel.

To begin you have access to mentos, biscuits and water while you fill out your form and make small talk with the lovely reception girls - emphasis on the 'lovely'. They are some of the sweetest people I have ever met. Then you move on to the little glass interview rooms where an even sweeter person pricks your finger and runs through your details.

And then...the luxury blood donation begins. You are on a reclined comfy chair that almost reminds me of the reclining chairs in the Gold Class cinemas. This is mostly because there is a huge flat screen in front of you playing TV. And if you don't like what is on there are 3 other TVs just like it playing different channels. For the first time in my life I wished my blood took longer than 6 minutes to fill a 500ml bag.

Also, just when I thought that my luck had run out with friendly staff everyone in this room is even happier! They laugh and joke and jeer while we donators look around dumbly trying to understand the workplace banter. But why bother when we can just watch our flatscreen TVs?

After they have your blood you're free to enter their post-donation cafe. Not only do they have every possible flavour of milkshake at your disposal but they also have a designated person to make it for you! And a menu of muffins, yoghurt, raisin toast, soup and more to pick from! It was like I had died and gone to food heaven. After hungrily downing a chocolate milkshake and double choc muffin the woman then asked me if I wanted more. "More?" It was an Oliver Twist moment, but a utopic version. I almost fell off my seat.

And so I now find myself wishing I could donate more often than every 3 months. For that kind of service I would visit every day. So just do it: save 3 lives, feel good about yourself, catch up on your midday TV and stuff your face full of milkshakes and muffins.
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Why? Save 3 lives = free food
Phone: 13 14 95
Where: rear 483 George Street, between Town Hall and St Andrews Cathedral
Cost: FREE
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