Organ Donation projects start across the country to save lives


A number of life-saving initiatives started in West Midlands, London, Wales and the North of England all designed to promote awareness of organ donation and to increase the number of people who register on the NHS organ donor register. Every day three people in the UK die needlessly waiting for an organ transplant. Everyone can be affected by organ failure and that is why it is important that as many people as possible register to be organ donors.

The Global Kidney Foundation, a UK-wide charity, which was founded by double-kidney recipient and a businessman Zahid Bhatti, took part in UK’s first organ Donor Town launch on 24 January. Stratford upon Avon is the first Donor Town, with the hope that other towns will follow. The Donor Town Project was started by Sally Bee, TV presenter and celebrity chef, who is a longstanding supporter of the organ donation cause. The project aims to raise awareness of the need to register to be an organ donor across Stratford upon Avon amongst schools, communities and businesses.

The Global Kidney Foundation has also taken part in the Birmingham organ Donor City first Steering Committee meeting on 25 January, marking the launch of this initiative. It is a legacy of the British Transplant Games 2018 that took place in Birmingham, seeing over 1000 athletes who had a life-saving organ transplant compete in 25 sports. The Minister for Transplant and Organ Donation, Jackie Doyle-Price MP, awarded Birmingham City Council for its work on organ donation. The Birmingham organ Donor City has been initiated by Birmingham City Council and the power given to communities to run the project, with the City Council being one of equal members of the steering group.

While the legacy of the 2018 British Transplant Games is flourishing, Wales is preparing for 2019 Games. The city of Newport has the privilege to host the Games in August 2019. The Global Kidney Foundation has visited Newport on 22 January to participate in the opening celebration and the symbolic Transplant Flame ignition. The hearts of local politicians were ignited too, as the whole Cabinet, the Mayor and Mayoress attended the event, together with Sally Bee and transplant athletes and families.

As this is all is happening the Global Kidney Foundation is preparing to launch an innovative project pioneering free health checks that will also include organ donation awareness and signing up to the NHS organ donor register. This project is supported by the NHS Blood and Transplant through a fund announced earlier this year by the Minister. Initially in Birmingham and in London free health checks will be delivered to the local communities. The dates and venues will be published soon.

These events spark years of awareness work by various groups and patient organisations, cumulating in new national projects growing in different parts of the country, leaving mark and changing attitudes to organ donation.

If you would like to know more visit www.gkf.org.uk and to register on the NHS Organ Register easily online click here.

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