Tocal College students and staff has taken out third place in a friendly blood donation battle between more than 100 NSW and QLD schools, saving 120 lives in the process.
Tocal's team made 40 blood and plasma donations, with more than 25 people donating for the first time and many donating plasma, which is the main donation needed by Hunter hospitals.
The QLD and NSW Schools Blood Drive ran from Tuesday, August 1 to Tuesday, October 31.
Fellow Maitland school Hunter Trade College also took part, coming in equal sixth place with 33 donations and 99 lives saved.
The challenge saw more than 1463 donations made and is designed to help boost blood supplies leading into Christmas.
Tocal College students Jesse Emery, 21, and Grace Nesbitt, 18, are two of the participating blood donors, and were glad to hear their team saved so many lives.
"I'm not good with needles but everyone was really patient and really considerate, and I didn't feel embarrassed, everyone just took their time and they're very gentle," Grace said.
"I wanted to do it because they say you'll save three lives, and it was really cool that there was a goal, you're not just getting a needle."
Jesse said the staff at Lifeblood Maitland were very understanding.
"The staff were really comforting, my stress relief is humour so I was joking around with the staff the whole time, they were happy to have a joke with me and they made the transition really easy... it was really good service," Jesse said.
"Having that little competition [with Hunter Trade] really pushed all the 18-year-old plus students to give it a go and get out there and because if not I don't think they would have had the encouragement to do it."
The donations have helped save the lives of cancer patients, new mums, accident victims, and many other seriously ill Australians.
Lifeblood spokesperson Brian Bruce thanked Tocal College for their blood great effort.
"Lifeblood teams like Tocal College are supplying more than a quarter of the blood needed in the Hunter region every day, and are a lifeline to hundreds of thousands of patients," he said.
"Every year Australia needs 1.3 million donations of blood, so we are calling on more employees and groups to join them, and for those who already donate, to give just one more donation this year.
"It doesn't matter if you have five members or 500. You can unite to save lives."
To make an appointment or learn more about donating plasma as a group, call 13 14 95 or visit www.lifeblood.com.au.
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