Kathy Rittman, of Prospect, has been donating blood since the early 1980s. Yesterday was her 279th donation and for the first time walking out people will be able to recognise her contribution from anywhere they can see her.
Australian Red Cross Lifeblood has partnered with six Australian artists, Beci Orpin, Gemma O'Brien, Chris Nixon, Georgia Perry, Kenny Pittock and Brian Robinson, to produce colourful art-filled bandages for people donating blood to wear after giving.
The initiative is designed to encourage people to donate and comes as the organisation is seeking to fill 500 donation appointments in Launceston alone during November.
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Research from the organisation has found that while the pandemic has inspired about a third of Australian's to give back, half don't know where to start.
Lifeblood executive director of donor services Cath Stone said there is a constant need for blood donations.
"With a blood donation required every 24 seconds in Australia, the need for blood never stops," she said.
"We hope these limited-edition 'badges-of-honour' bandages will encourage that one-third of Aussies who want to give back to their communities to do just that."
For Ms Rittman, who also donates bone marrow, donating blood is a way to give back to those in need.
She said the process is relatively painless and that it feels good to be able to help people who find themselves in bad medical situations.
"Helping other people. It feels like a bit of an achievement to help someone else," Ms Rittman said.
Ms Rittman said the bandages were an extra incentive to go and donate.
"The fact that you can see somebody elses (sic) art work. It is a lot better than a plain white bandage," she said.
"People are now learning that the coloured bandages signify something special rather than maybe you've just hurt yourself."
The special Lifeblood bandages are available at all donations centre's across Australia until the end of November.
People who donate blood are asked to post a photo on social media showing the bandage to promote the discussion around blood donation.
To find out more about blood donation or to book a donation download the DonateBlood APP, go to lifeblood.com.au or call on 13 14 95.
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