Blood agency on the hunt for free venues for donors
Blood donation services will be split between Roydon and Garboldisham, with the NHS agency currently seeking venues for free.
The sessions used to take place at Diss Corn Hall before the venue was deemed unsuitable and the service moved to Diss Rugby Club.
Despite venues already offering reduced fees, the NHS Blood and Transplant agency has decided to split its sessions between Roydon and Garboldisham to further reduce costs.
A spokesperson for NHS Blood and Transplant said: “We have added Garboldisham village hall as it can host us at a lower cost.
“We are extremely grateful when venues are able to meet our needs at a reduced price, or preferably without charging us at all.
“Our life saving donors give their time and their donations for free. We’re now seeking partners who will do the same.”
South Norfolk councillor Graham Minshull argues that this is often impossible for local venues.
He said: “The problem is with village halls and local venues that when they have blood donors in, they will have to pay for the upkeep of the hall such as electricity and heating. That means they have to charge, otherwise they are going to be out of pocket and they are charities as well at the end of the day.”
He added: “If a venue goes out of business, it’s a loss for the whole community.”
Further difficulties brings the agency’s demand for exclusive use of a venue, making it impossible for other activities to take place at the same time.
“Someone suggested using Hope Church and I thought that was a fantastic idea but the problem is that they organise playgroups and other events going on in the building.
“And for people saying the councils should subsidise the fees: councils are not permitted to give money to things that are run by a government body,” said Cllr Minshull.
“There are many great causes, like the blood donation service, but they are just not allowed.”
The next blood donation session at Diss Rugby Club will be on September 17 and at Garboldisham village hall on November 8.