THOSE wishing to donate their blood in Calne will find they have to travel further afield in order to do so; at least for the time being.

Up until recently, the Blood Donor service held regular sessions at Beversbrook Sports & Leisure Facility. An estimated 60 to 80 people regularly took part at the sessions. However, recently more and more donors have noticed the venue is no longer available when it comes to booking their place, with the nearest alternatives being Devizes or Chippenham.

The reason the venue in Calne is now unavailable for the donor sessions is that Beversbrook were approached by another local group who needed larger premises and wanted to book it for every Friday. Beversbrook say they were unable to contact the people from the Blood Donor service and so cancelled their booking in favour of the other group.

A Calne Town Council spokesperson told us: "The Blood Donor service had not been responding to contact and hadn’t confirmed the latest booking which was then sadly cancelled."

Until a suitable alternative can be found, it is hoped that donors will be able to travel in order to give blood. Though understandably, not everyone will be able to do this, and long term the lack of a venue in Calne will inevitably affect vital supplies.

Online booking shows available dates at: 

Chippenham, Neeld Community & Arts Centre

Devizes, Corn Exchange

Seend, Community Centre

Melksham, Spencer Sports and Social Club

Corsham, Springfield Community Campus  

Royal Wootton Bassett, RFC

A Calne Town Council spokesperson added: "The team at Beversbrook are working with the blood donation service to support them find an alternative date going forward or moving to another venue in Calne. 

 "Blood donation and ensuring the community can donate locally will always be important and we have reached out to offer support in raising the profile and number of donors from the local area."

An NHS Blood and Transplant spokesperson told this newspaper: “We plan and run donation sessions to collect the levels of blood we need to meet the demand from hospitals.

"We run sessions at a number of venues across Wiltshire and are grateful to all our regular and loyal donors who can be counted on to attend sessions and give blood which enables us and hospitals to save lives.

"When sessions are planned in other parts of the county, we appreciate that some donors will consider whether it is feasible to travel further afield, but not all will be able to do so.

"We are grateful to the people of Calne for their ongoing support and we continue to work with the council to look at options for future local sessions.”

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