Volunteers smooth the way for donors: meet Caz and Mim

Volunteers smooth the way for donors: meet Caz and Mim

There’s plenty that goes on behind the scenes of every donation. From the minute you arrive at the donor centre to the time you leave, we have a team of volunteers helping make the process seamless. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be a volunteer, Caz and Mim are here to share their stories.

Caz started giving blood nearly 50 years ago when her mum was in a car accident and needed blood transfusions. She saw first-hand how important blood donations are and was looking for an opportunity to help even more.

So, she signed up as a volunteer. 

Mim had been giving blood for years. Then, she found out she’d no longer be able to donate to protect her own health. But she wanted to keep changing lives. While she may not have been able to donate her blood, she realised she could still donate her time.

It’s why she signed up as a volunteer.

Both Mim and Caz can agree that it was one of the best things they’ve ever done.

Pop in for a chat with Caz

If you’ve donated at her donor centre on a Monday morning, there’s no doubt you’ve had a chat with Caz. She’s right there, restocking the snacks, offering milkshakes, and making sure every donor feels valued.

“I always thank them when they leave. If I miss someone I think, ‘oh, I’ve missed that opportunity.’ I want them to have that good experience.”

Caz had been coming in for her plasma donations every fortnight when she retired. She knew she wanted to volunteer at something and saw her opportunity.

“I knew they could do with help here. It’s easy to get here, the staff are great — it’s the people I come for, too.”

Now, she’s looking forward to her mammoth 450th donation this year, where she’ll be surrounded by the staff and donors who know her like family.

“To do that with these girls here, that touches me.”

Have a milkshake with Mim

“I love Fridays because it’s usually a very busy day and I like to be on the go,” says Mim.

Her specialty? She can spot an anxious donor coming from a mile away.

“I look for those signs, they look at their bandage a lot. Sometimes you can really tell.”

So, she watches out for them and sits with them when they’re finished. She’s armed with a cup of tea, a biscuit (or your snack of choice), and some nice, distracting conversations. She’ll stay and remind them how important their donation is.

Both Caz and Mim were looking for a way to help give back and structure their days in retirement. They have something to look forward to every week, but if they can’t make it or need to move their shift, the donor centre team are happy to make it work.

You don’t have to be retired like Caz and Mim to volunteer — you just have to care about other people. In fact, you can be as young as 16 to volunteer at Lifeblood.

Click here to find out more.