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Interview with Svetlana Mishina

The Ulyanovsk Regional Blood Transfusion Station uses non-standard creative approaches to promote donation among young people. Its interactive project Donor-Party significantly increased the number of young donors during the year, and helped many of them overcome their fear of donating blood. Svetlana Mishina, pr-manager of the Ulyanovsk regional blood transfusion station, tells about the project, received a well-deserved award at the All-Russian competition of professional skills of the Blood Service in the nomination “Time to do adult things”.

Could you tell us about the Donor-Party project? How did the idea come about?

The project was created during the covid restrictions, when the attention of society was occupied by the problems of the pandemic. At this time, blood donation, unfortunately, began to be discussed much less, and the work of the Blood Service was complicated by many factors. Under such conditions, it became clear that an unusual and memorable event would attract the largest number of donors. And the idea of holding a Donor-Party was born, a new creative format of blood donation for people aged 18 to 35 years.

What goals and objectives did you set? How were they implemented?

First of all - a positive attitude towards donation and an increase in the number of young donors. In addition, it was necessary to help newcomers to remove the psychological barrier before donating blood. Youth volunteer associations played an important role in this, contributing to the blood donation promotion. Our image has also changed. Now we are not just a state institution, but also the organizers of a holiday that gives the joy of a happy and healthy life. The blood transfusion station has become a meeting place for good deeds.

Tell us about the partners of the Donor-Party project?

Volunteers from the public movement “Molodezhka of the All-Russian Popular Front” (Ulyanovsk Region) and the All-Russian Public Movement “Medical Volunteers” provided us with great help. The regional coordinator of the Molodezhka team, Ramil Letfullov, took care of all organizational issues, for example, he attracted a professional DJ and animators. As part of the campaign, a photo zone and board games with prizes were organized for donors. There was a health bar in the building, where juices, biscuits, tea, and sweets were offered.

Were there any difficulties in working with youth during the implementation of the project? How did you manage to overcome them?

All projects have their risks, but in this case there were no problems. On the contrary, our project helped to get young people interested in the topic of blood donation.

What is more effective - online or offline communication? How do you use social media to communicate with young donors?

Perhaps, it is not necessary to oppose virtual and real communication. Everything is important to promote donation. Live communication gives bright emotions and good mood. Online communication simplifies the work. We actively disseminate information about donation and seek feedback from potential and regular donors through online platforms and social networks. In the official group in the VK "Donors of Ulyanovsk" we have more than 6200 subscribers, 60% of them are young people. We publish invitations to donor actions and answer questions. Most often, people are interested in what documents are needed, what examinations need to be done before donating blood, what are the contraindications. We answer all questions promptly. In general, we are in touch with donors 24/7.

Tell us about the results of the Donor-Party project. What was the response to your events? Do you plan to continue developing this project in the future?

We did not expect such an increase in positive reviews. The youth began to perceive us as a progressive and modern institution. Happy faces of donors became a qualitative indicator of the project. Quantitative was the fact that donors aged 18 to 35 years have increased by 48%. It is an excellent result. The project is not finished. We continue to develop and move only forward!

What advice would you give to your colleagues who want to apply the experience of the Donor-Party organization to other blood transfusion stations?

Don't be afraid to experiment. Use more creativity and positive. Confidently move towards your goals.

And our traditional question: what would you wish donors and those who are going to join the donor program?

Basically, many of us think about the meaning of donation when the problem affects personally us and our beloved ones. It happens that in life everything turns upside down instantly, and instead of the words “I don’t want”, “I’m afraid”, “why do I need this?” the phrase: "Urgently need help!" appears. Do not be afraid, take the time to donate, come to the blood transfusion station. Who knows, maybe it is your blood that will become for someone the very chance to save life and meet tomorrow!

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