Tabletalk helps boost blood bank

The Cape Community Newspapers (CCN) team at the blood drive, back from left, are northern titles team leader Karen Pretorius; CCN editor Chantel Erfort; assistant editor Simoneh de Bruin; and PA Pearl Piet. In front, are marketing and brand officer Deborah Monisi and branding assistant Jonty Mouton.

Tabletalk gave new meaning to the cynical old newspaper adage, “If it bleeds, it leads”, when it joined the Western Province Blood Transfusion Services (WPBTS) for a blood drive at Bayside Mall last week.

Tabletalk is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, and this was our way of making a difference and showing we care.

Many donors came to the pop-up clinic at the mall to do their bit.

Liane Truter, a Richwood resident, has given her blood 113 times and was presented with a gift from the WPBTS.

“To me it is important because those few minutes spent giving blood could actually save someone’s life,” said Ms Truter.

But it was a bitter-sweet moment: the day was her and her husband’s anniversary, but he had died just a month earlier.

She said donating blood was important because it might save the life of someone’s loved one.

Ms Truter and her husband used to donate blood together. This time, she brought her son with her, and he brought a friend.

WPBTS spokeswoman Marlize van der Merwe urged the public to register as donors.

“Even in 2017, with all the technology available, human blood cannot be artificially manufactured, and a single donation can save more than three lives.”

Those visiting the pop-up clinics, she said, also benefited from a mini-medical to check blood pressure, iron levels and general health.

The service’s Craig Hicks said blood donation was crucial at this time of year when road accidents were so common.

Ona Boyana, of Dunoon, said she had given blood several times, and after getting an SMS alert about the Bayside blood drive, she had decided to answer the call.

“I don’t even work in the mall and I didn’t even come to shop. I just came to give blood and do my part,” she said.

A former traffic officer, Eddie Clack, of Sunningdale, has given 221 pints of blood over the years.

He has seen the need for blood first-hand. “I will do this until I can no longer, and what’s great is that it takes about 10 to 15 minutes,” he said.

Gina Botha, of Table View, came for her 19th blood donation.

“It’s pain-free, and it takes a couple of minutes. Plus you get a free cookie in the end,” she said.

Chantel Erfort, editor of Cape Community Newspapers, which publishes Tabletalk and its sister papers, stuck out her arm for the good cause.

“I’ll be honest. I was pretty nervous as it was the first time I donated blood. But knowing that my small contribution could help save a life, made it worthwhile. I tip my hat to my fellow staffers and all the others who supported the drive,” she said.

“As a community newspaper, we believe that part of our responsibility is to be of service to the community. And that’s why we partnered with the Western Province Blood Transfusion Services.”

* Potential donors can contact WPBTS at 021 507 6300;; Facebook: WP Blood; Twitter: @WP Blood; Instagram: WP_Blood. Or SMS Blood to 33507 (SMSes cost R1.50).