Barnsley. Basildon. Bloodwise

Monday was in the West End with a series of 121s and phone calls. Tuesday was at the Department of Health at our quarterly review with colleagues from across 4 parts of the UK. Topics ranged from the ongoing challenges around keeping blood stocks up through to progress with Organ Donation opt-out consultation and legislation in England and Scotland.

Wednesday was back in the West End, talking performance and programme progress with the Exec team. Thursday was off up to Barnsley for the sod cutting at our new Barnsley centre. The bad weather meant travel was more interesting than it could have been but I did make it to Junction 37 of the M1 on time. We all had a great welcome from the local council who were keen to do everything they can to help make the project a success. Over the next 2 and half year we will be building a state of the art facility to replace our current Leeds and Sheffield centres. This is a £15mn investment in the area and once built will employ around 400 people. I must pay tribute to Chris Sims for his great local leadership of the project.

I then went on for a quick visit to the Sheffield centre hearing about all sorts of things from using social media better to recruit, ambitions for more translational research in DTS through to how an ironing board can make a good stand up desk when working at home (you had to be there!).

Friday was off to Basildon to visit our relatively new site there. The Head of Centre Andy Perry and his team are ambitious for the centre and were talking to me about opportunities to take in more work. I then went over to the close by, Phoenix House to see other colleagues working on a range of things from bag validation and non-clinical issues through to graphic design.

It was then back across the river heading home stopping to make phone calls on the way. It was one of those days when having ‘gone mobile’ I arrived home with no power left in either my phone or hybrid!

It has felt like another really busy week but lots of positives. The passion for making our new centre a success in Barnsley was palpable. The ambitious conversations with colleagues in Sheffield and Basildon were also fantastic. This week we were also recognised at the Apprenticeships Awards as being the best large employer, Highly Commended newcomer – this apparently never happens first time. This was great work by Katherine Robinson and her team, along with individual leaders across the NHSBT who have seen the opportunity that apprenticeships offer and have supported existing and new colleagues to ‘go for it’.

I would also like to say a big thank you to everyone involved in flu vaccinations, with 54% of colleagues getting vaccinated, our highest ever number, up from 45% in 2016.

Finally, a word on the £34,000 we raised for our charity partner Bloodwise, this is four times what we did in 2016. It was really great to hear the stories of how the money was raised. The Manchester team raised £4,000 from their Christmas raffle alone, with one generous donor pledging £1,200 for a piece of artwork. Liverpool raised £3,800 through various fundraising initiatives and charity draws throughout the year. Neil Phillips, Account Manager, took part in Prudential RideLondon and raised £1,313. Stephen Thomas, Assistant Director of Manufacturing Development, raised £1,323 by cycling 3,650 miles in 365 days. Colleagues in Southampton raised £795 by completing the New Forest 5k run and Woodland Walk.

The Pennies from Heaven initiative, has raised £4,465 and saw even more of our colleagues signing up to donate the pennies from their pay cheques. If you want to join and give a few pence each month from your pay cheque more information can be found here.

No matter how big or small, these vital donations enable Bloodwise to undertake world-class research and offer expert support and information to anyone affected by leukaemia, myeloma and other blood cancer related disorders. This year we will be encouraging more of our colleagues to become Charity Champions around our centres and continue to drive efforts forward to raise even more money to beat blood cancer.

If you have any success stories you’d like to highlight, or would like to get involved, please contact Hannah Little at Bloodwise or our colleagues Laura Fenn.

See you all next week.


If you have any questions or comments for Ian, please don’t hesitate to share in the comments section below!

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