Blood Service to open a donor centre in Vantaa next year
The Finnish Red Cross Blood Service (FRCBS) is set to open a donor centre in the Jumbo/Flamingo shopping and entertainment centre in Vantaa in early 2024. The new site will replace the Kivihaka donor centre in Helsinki. The Vantaa centre will cater for both conventional blood donation and thrombapheresis, which is a special technique for collecting platelets.
The Blood Service has been looking to relocate the Kivihaka donation site for a while. The administration of the Kivihaka branch moved to Vehkala in Vantaa last year, but the blood donation facilities stayed behind. New premises for the blood donation operation were finally found in the Jumbo/Flamingo shopping and entertainment centre, which is the largest shopping complex in the Helsinki metropolitan area.
‘Our priorities were a busy spot and a space big enough to both house a blood donation centre and act as a base for our mobile unit. The Jumbo/Flamingo shopping and entertainment centre is the perfect location’, says Pia Kara, Regional Manager of the Finnish Red Cross Blood Service.
‘Vantaa is a large, multicultural and rapidly growing city, and it is vital that we have a permanent blood donation site there. We chose the Jumbo/Flamingo shopping and entertainment centre as the location of our new branch due to its excellent transport links both by car and by public transport’, Kara explains.
Renovation works are set to begin as soon as planning permission is granted, and the Blood Service is hoping to have the space ready by the end of 2023. The actual move-in date is yet to be decided, but the goal is for the new branch to be up and running no later than February 2024. The Kivihaka branch, which is one of the Blood Service’s busiest donation sites, remains open until that time.
‘We are delighted to have the Finnish Red Cross Blood Service join us in Jumbo/Flamingo. The complex already has a wide range of health and well-being service providers, and the Blood Service will be a perfect complement to them. Demand for both private and public health and well-being services is growing, and for these service providers to have their premises in shopping centres makes excellent sense from the customers’ perspective’, says Shopping Centre Director Olli Lehtoaro.
‘The Jumbo/Flamingo shopping and entertainment centre is conveniently located and boasts a great variety of retail stores and leisure services, as well as our recently launched co-working space Wörkkis, which is already proving extremely popular’, Lehtoaro adds.
With the opening of the new branch in Vantaa next year, the Blood Service will have three permanent blood donation sites in the Helsinki metropolitan area. The other two are located in the Sanomatalo building in the heart of Helsinki and in the Iso Omena shopping centre in Espoo.
The Finnish Red Cross Blood Service (FRCBS) supplies Finnish hospitals with safe and effective blood products as well as laboratory services. We coordinate the collection of blood from volunteers with patient care needs. We also offer services to hospitals supporting organ and stem cell transplants. The Blood Service is a non-profit organisation.
The Jumbo/Flamingo shopping and entertainment centre in Vantaa is the biggest shopping complex in Finland in terms of sales. The complex is home to 170 retailers, including restaurants, cafés and entertainment service providers, as well as two hypermarkets and 5,500 parking spaces. Finland’s largest hotel in terms of the number of rooms is also attached to the complex. The Jumbo/Flamingo shopping and entertainment centre’s sales topped EUR 480 million in 2022, and the complex attracted almost 12 million visitors. The complex has a gross leasable area in excess of 140,000 square metres.