"Giving blood and shopping - that goes together!" | Westfieldrise
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“Giving blood and shopping – that goes together!”

02 | 09 | 20

People actually go shopping and for a stroll at the Ruhr Park Bochum – one of the most renowned shopping centers in Germany. But since the end of July there is another good reason to visit the 125,000 square meter area: the new “pop-up blood donation” of the DRK (German Red Cross) Blutspendedienst West.

There are indeed more pleasant activities than queuing in front of a store at noon in the sun at 30 degrees Celsius. For this to happen, stars or starlets usually have to be on site or unique products are on offer. Since the end of July, another, at least just as important reason has been added to the Ruhr Park Bochum: Saving lives. This is because the first ever Germany-wide “pop-up blood donation” by the DRK Blood Donation Service West allows up to six people to have their vital body fluid extracted at the same time, thus helping other people who are dependent on the donation due to illness, surgery or an accident.

The fact that such measures are absolutely necessary, in order to avoid bottlenecks, is known to Stephan David Küpper: “In the summer months our reserves always diminish dramatically due to vacation and the like – this year of course additionally the COVID 19 pandemic was added, as we had to cancel approximately 650 blood donation appointments without substitution”, explains the press speaker of the DRK blood donation service west. “The blood donation truck, which we have been using regularly and successfully in Ruhr Park for almost three years, also had to stay in the garage.

A way out of the Corona misery: The “Pop-up Blood Donation”

Those responsible were delighted when the idea of “pop-up blood donation” was first conceived: “When the Ruhr Park Commercial Partnerships Team approached us with this great idea, we were immediately thrilled,” reports Gaby Struck, public relations officer at the DRK Blutspendedienst West. “It only took us a few weeks from the initial idea to the opening,” explains a visibly proud Jessika Seyda, Commercial Partnership Manager at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield. “That was also important to us – after all, the entire center team wanted to help out quickly. So, we rolled up our sleeves and stepped on the gas to get the ‘pop-up blood donation’ off to a flying start!

At the end of July the 200m² location opened its doors – and after day one it was already clear: the effort was worth it. With around 80 donors, an above-average number of donors came to Ruhr Park. “And that, although many only found out on the spot that they can donate blood here and now,” said Gaby Struck, who was delighted by the spontaneous helpfulness of the many visitors.

Cooperation with full body commitment

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield’s leading commitment did not end with the free provision of the store space. On the contrary, almost the entire Commercial Partnership Team from Düsseldorf, which among other things looks after the center in the Ruhr area, donated blood themselves. The idea came from Jessika Seyda, who quickly inspired her colleagues to get involved: “Even after the initial talks I thought that we have to get involved too! The great thing was that I didn’t have to do any convincing at all in my team and everyone accepted immediately. And that despite the fact that almost all of us were first-time donors. This was certainly not our last visit,” she concludes. Gaby Struck was also delighted with the enthusiasm. “Without Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield’s commitment, quick action and creative ideas, we would never have been able to implement the project in this way. Shopping and doing something good – it just fits together!

You would like to participate and do something good? Just drop by the “Pop-up Blood Donation” or make an appointment – the team on site is always looking forward to your visit!