Wendy calls it a day after 38-year career with donors

GIFT Donor carer, right, Wendy Parker is given a send off from colleagues, left, Carol Hawes and Diana Goodyear on her retirement from the Hampshire Blood Donor Service. Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (123947-1)

GIFT Donor carer, right, Wendy Parker is given a send off from colleagues, left, Carol Hawes and Diana Goodyear on her retirement from the Hampshire Blood Donor Service. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (123947-1)

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WHEN Wendy Parker first started as a donor carer, she remembers collecting blood in glass bottles.

And during her 38-year career Mrs Parker has witnessed many changes to the way blood donation happens.

After almost four decades of collecting blood in the Portsmouth area, Mrs Parker has decided to retire.

The 62-year-old said: ‘I’ve always liked the feeling that I know I’m helping others.

‘It’s also an interesting way to meet different people and I have enjoyed the job thoroughly.’

Mrs Parker started working as a donor carer in 1971.

And apart from taking a three-year break from 1973 to 1976, to get married and start a family, Mrs Parker has worked continuously as a donor carer.

‘When I first started we used to collect blood in glasses,’ added Mrs Parker.

‘They were reusable, and we had bottle washers who would clean them out before being used again.

‘We would say to people that they were donating a pint of blood, as the bottle was pint-sized. Of course then it changed to plastic bags.

‘We used to have a suite where people could donate plasma.

‘That’s changed too, as now they take platelets as well.’

Mrs Parker started her work in Southampton, before moving to Portsmouth.

‘I’ll miss the staff the most,’ added Mrs Parker.

‘They are all such lovely people and it’s been brilliant working with them.’

Diana Goodyear is a session manager for the Portsmouth area.

She said: ‘Wendy has been an absolute delight to work with. She has seen a lot of changes during her career and she has always adapted well to them. We will all miss her a lot and wish her well in retirement.

Wendy, who lived in Southampton, but has moved to Salisbury, will enjoy retirement with her husband David, 63. The couple will enjoy cycling and travelling around the world.

This month The News launched a campaign to get more people to sign up to the blood donor register to keep stocks high over Christmas.

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