Champions sought to promote importance of organ and blood donation

First published in News

CHAMPIONS are being sought to promote the importance of organ donation and giving blood.

Worcestershire County Council has become the first county council in the UK to join forces with the NHS in a bid to encourage more people to donate blood, sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register and discuss their decision with loved ones.

It wants to recruit those who already give blood or are signed up to the NHS Organ Donor Register to become champions and encourage more people to do so.

A special three-hour training session for the recruited champions will take place at County Hall in Worcester in May.

"We want to create a network of champions who will be fully trained and then be available to display leaflets and attend events such as youth groups, healthcare forums and community gatherings, to speak about donation and encourage people to sign up themselves," said Councillor Marcus Hart, cabinet member for health and wellbeing.

"How much time they will be able to give depends on individual circumstances but every champion will be important in spreading the word and helping to save lives."

Champions would be asked to display leaflets, attend events or meetings, talk to people to encourage them to give blood and sign the NHS Organ Donor Register, and generally promote the service.

"Only 35 per cent of people living in Worcestershire have signed up to the NHS Organ Donor register while less than three per cent of them are active blood donors," said Michael Amies, chair of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust Organ Donation Committee.

"This network of champions will be a fantastic way to spread the word about the importance of donation and their real-life stories will hopefully inspire people to get involved.”

Anyone wishing to sign up to become a champion should email donationchampion@worcestershire.gov.uk or visit worcestershire.gov.uk/donationchampions

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