2010s: Blood donation strengthens the community spirit
The students’ Blood Group at the Finnish School of Watchmaking sees blood donation as one of the trends of this decade.
Saara Lehtineva, Aki Keskisaari, Niko Tervamäki and Ville Sampo from the School of Watchmaking are active members of the school's Blood Group.
"Many of us had been thinking about giving blood before coming to the school. Being invited to join a group of friends was the final shove. It's fun to do something good together. The group activates you and blood donation becomes this cool thing we do together. Giving blood always makes you feel good and it often gives you a lighter feeling, physically.
The students set up the Blood Group and appointed a blood minister. The minister coordinates the donations. The minister schedules the donations to fit in with our studies so that as many students as possible can join in. The school encourages blood donation, and we can always find a suitable time.
We invite new members to join the Blood Group in the first student events every autumn. The school has around 80 students and the community spirit is strong. This autumn, a 16-year-old student wanted to join the group, but they will have to wait a while".
Strengthening community spirit
"The School of Watchmaking has a long tradition of blood donations. According to our vice principal, our students have been donating blood since the 1960s. Donating blood together is fitting for this decade.
We always go to Kivihaka together, and we already know the nurses there. We take a minibus straight from school. One has been booked for this afternoon. These donation trips are a great way of strengthening the community spirit and getting to know the new students. We have time to chat and catch up, which is great, as our studies are really intensive and independent.
It is easy to join the Blood Group. You register by simply putting your name down on a list. The fact that we go together with a bunch of friends lowers the threshold for the first-timers. When you've been once, you will most likely go again".
Easy to do good
"In our opinion, donating blood is an easy way to do good. It makes you feel like you can do something worthwhile with your friends. You lose nothing but, together, we can do something for people in need of help. Perhaps donating blood also motivates us to look after ourselves, so that we can help others. Some of our students have also been interested in donating stem cells.
We have been going regularly. Our Blood Group donates pretty much as often as possible. Our coffee room walls are adorned with gold certificates from the last two years. In recent years, we have been among the top ten donator groups. These small acknowledgements are rewarding, they help keep us motivated.
Last year, one of our students developed leukaemia. It was a reminder to us that help might come from someone very close".
Text: Minna Kalajoki / Mediafocus
Photos: Matti Rajala