Hosting blood donations sessions vital for Doncaster charity

Diane Martland, Admin, John Burke, NDDT Vice Chairman and Diana Foster, Board Member, pictured outside the Bullcroft Memorial Hall in Carcroft.
Diane Martland, Admin, John Burke, NDDT Vice Chairman and Diana Foster, Board Member, pictured outside the Bullcroft Memorial Hall in Carcroft.

A small charity in Doncaster, who host several blood donation sessions a year, say they are not making money out of blood donors, and instead are using the funds to carry on vital work within the community. 

The North Doncaster Development Trust host between two and three blood donation sessions a month at the Bullcroft Memorial Hall, Carcroft, one of two community buildings they are responsible for. 

The room at the Bullcroft Memorial Hall, which is used during the blood donation sessions.

The room at the Bullcroft Memorial Hall, which is used during the blood donation sessions.

However, following a recent article which revealed that many venues across Doncaster charge the NHS to host these sessions, The Trust have now explained exactly why they need the money from blood donations. 

Louise Parkin, 58, from Barnby Dun urged venues to reconsider charging for blood donation sessions, saying they are profiting from people giving up their time to do a good deed. 

It came after she found out that some charge extortionate prices, including Doncaster Racecourse who was named as one of the most expensive.

But, The Trust say that for them the charge of £237.50 is vital, forming a significant part of their annual income which helps to provide services for the surrounding community.

John Burke, NDDT Vice Chairman pictured in the recently opened Bev-Ridge cafe with l-r Luke Duffy, Jess Donkin and Stuart Yorke.

John Burke, NDDT Vice Chairman pictured in the recently opened Bev-Ridge cafe with l-r Luke Duffy, Jess Donkin and Stuart Yorke.

John Burke, Vice Chair of the NDDT, explained that the building has to be open between 11am and 8pm for each session, meaning they have to supply electricity, heating and the services of a caretaker to open and close the building.

He said: “We have to charge to host these sessions, as it pays for the facilities and the heating. We have to make it financially prudent, we do as much as we can and put the money back into the community and other events.

“We would love to host the sessions for free, but at the moment we are not in the position to do so, it isn’t financially viable.”

The North Doncaster Development Trust hold various events within the community centre, including dog training with the Dog’s Trust, a computer club and regular midwife sessions.

The Bullcroft Memorial Hall at Carcroft.

The Bullcroft Memorial Hall at Carcroft.

They have both paid and volunteer drivers with vehicles that take those with special needs to school, and the elderly to places within the community.

They have also reopened their on site cafe, where they work alongside The Ridge Employability College to offer their students with learning difficulties, a space to train and learn new skills.

Now, they are looking to expand this and buy better facilities for the students.

However, due to a lack of funding, the charity have had to downsize in recent years, after a number of larger projects ceased, but they now make sure the building is used as often and as much as possible. 

Speaking of the blood donation sessions, John added: “We do it at the least we charge for a little profit.”

To enquire about venue hire at Bullcroft Memorial Hall, or for more information call 01302 874587.