On Monday 11 May, Swindon Hindu Temple organised a very successful NHS Blood Donation Camp at their Centre in Cheney Manor Industrial Estate.
Chairman of Swindon Hindu Temple, Cllr Pradeep Bhardwaj, said “This was our second such camp and I am pleased to say that it was bigger than the first one we held at the Temple in January, which is even more significant in the current times of the pandemic and the lockdown.
"Giving blood and platelets is essential to the NHS and vulnerable patients. Blood donation is always important, the need for blood never stops but it is even more important to have people donating blood in the current times for a lot of reasons. Providing enough blood for hospitals and vulnerable patients is a challenge during the coronavirus pandemic.
"I am grateful to the donors that hundreds of lives will be saved with the blood donated at the camp but importantly we also raised awareness of the need to donate blood and save lives, specially within the BAME community. I personally stayed at the venue whole day from 11am till 9pm to supervise the preparations, setup and logistics. I am hugely relieved that everything went well."
To make donating even safer for the donors and the NHS staff, extra safety measures were introduced with a separate entry and exit system, washing hands, regulated entry, social distancing, etc. Thorough cleaning of the venue was done by Swindon Volunteers the day before the camp and further sanitising was undertaken on the day.
Pradeep added: "We always take great pride in making things extra special when it comes to our key workers and NHS staff. So we served the NHS team with hot vegetablePakoras at lunch prepared by one of the Trustees Vinay Kumar, and then we brought delicious Vegetable Biryani for them for dinner, specially cooked by chef Sanjay Dogra. It wasn’t just the NHS staff but some of the donors also thoroughly relished the Biryani as well.
"We have excellent facilities for such camps with easy access from all parts of Swindon, we have ample free parking for donors, we can have separate entry and exit and our hospitality is the best in the world. It was a huge pleasure for us to have this opportunity to contribute to the society. We look forward to the next Blood donation camp in Sep, hopefully the situation would be lot more relaxed by then and we can make it even bigger and better.”