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Interview with Nelly Chomyakova

The employees of the largest Russian international airport “Sheremetyevo”, with route network covering more than 200 directions, have been regularly participating in donor actions since 2008. The Chairman of the Primary Trade Union Organization of Workers of the JSC Sheremetyevo International Airport Nelly Khomyakova told us how the airport management supports the donor movement.

What are the peculiarities of the socially-charitable donor campaign “Ot serdtsa k serdtsu”, regularly held in the company since 2008?

The Sheremetyevo International Airport is one of the largest employers in the Moscow Region with a staff of over 17 thousand people. We actively attract our employees to participate in social and charity events. Sheremetyevo has been a participant of the charity campaign for volunteer donors “Ot serdtsa k serdtsu” since 2008. More than 4 thousand of employees took part in the campaign over the entire period. The proponents of the Sheremetyevo cooperation with the Blood Center of the Federal Medical and Biological Agency were the Primary Trade Union Organization of Workers, which I have chaired since 2003, and the Airport Public Relations Directorate with its Director Anna Zakharenkova.

At the present moment, the internal communications department, the trade union organization and the Sheremetyevo medical unit provide donor actions and the involvement of workers in it.

I assume, the peculiarity of donor events at Sheremetyevo is a high level of informational and emotional support to employees. We discuss in detail the requirements before and after the donation with the participants, determine a convenient range of time, and other organizational matters. We pay special attention to employees becoming donors for the first time.

The company was awarded the All-Russian Prize for its contribution in the development of blood donation “SoUchastiye”. What brought you this award?

The airport was awarded by the third place in the nomination “For the Contribution in the Development of Blood Donation” of the VI All-Russian Prize “SoUchastiye” among companies implementing volunteer initiatives. Our project is distinguished by a systematic approach, as well as the active involvement of employees of subsidiaries and other organizations working at the airport.

How much has the number of participants in the “Ot serdtsa k serdtsu” campaign increased since its inception? What is the main motivation for employees?

The number of participants in our campaigns has doubled. The first action in 2008 was joined by 170 airport employees. Now about 360 people take part in the action annually. We have many initiative people who are regular donors in our company. Their main motivation is the opportunity to help those who urgently need a transfusion of blood components. It is important for us to personally note the employee’s involvement. After the donation, each donor receives a rose as a symbol of the “Ot serdtsa k serdtsu” promotion, as well as a thematic souvenir. Also, each donor is expected to have snack and something to drink prepared by the union.

How do you organize the blood donation process at the airport, with the impressive number of employees, the shift schedule of their work and the distances between various divisions of the air harbor?

To ensure maximum participation we place special section on donation on the corporate website during the campaign. Information is also published in the corporate newspaper “Nash aeroport”, posted on information boards in production units, distributed by e-mail and provided to employees through line managers.

We try to provide the most comfortable conditions for our donors. As employees work in shifts, the action is held for two days. Donors are received in a spacious hall, which allows you to simultaneously place 10 seats. Regular donors prefer from year to year the same doctors and nurses of the visiting team of the Blood Center, trusting their professionalism.

What employees most often become donors?

About 60% of donors are employees of production units and 40% are administrative staff.

Did you face any difficulties in the process of launching the donor campaign, how did you solve them?

One of the difficulties was the insufficient attention of employees to nutrition in preparation for donation. That is why many of them were denied by medical reasons. To minimize this indicator, the internal communications service conducts an information campaign three weeks before the event, telling employees how to properly prepare for blood donation, which diseases are absolute and temporary contraindications. As a result, there has been a recent reduction in the number of rejections for medical reasons.

What would you say to donors and those who are just going to participate?

The best thing each of us can do is to help preserve human life and health. On behalf of the airport and the Sheremetyevo trade union, we thank all participants in the donor movement for voluntary participation in a charity event.

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