Wagga residents have turned out in record numbers to roll up their sleeves and donate blood during the coronavirus pandemic.
Red Cross LifeBlood Wagga manager Neil Wright said the donor centre had experienced one of its busiest years since the coronavirus pandemic began last March.
"There was a lot of pressure on the health services to maintain blood supply just in case things got worse," he said.
"We were an essential service so our donors were able to come. But we were actually busier than ever because our donors were at home."
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Mr Wright said Wagga contributed between 15,000 and 20,000 blood and plasma donations each year, with the help of the mobile centre which travels to meet donors from across the Riverina.
"Wagga's a really generous community. We usually beat or exceed our targets every year. But we can't rest on our laurels," he said.
"We've always got to chase donors and we know people get busy and have their life outside the donor centre."
As we gear up for a true-blue celebration, Red Cross LifeBlood is preparing for some of its regular blood and plasma donors to go on holiday over the Australia Day period.
Mr Wright said about 30 local donors are needed across Saturday and Monday to plug the predicted shortfall. Those wanting to find out more about donating blood can visit lifeblood.com.au or call 13 14 95.