MORE people will be encouraged to become an organ donor after Worcestershire County Council teamed up with the NHS Blood and Transplant service.
The council is working in partnership with the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust to encourage people who already give blood, or are signed up for organ donation, to be champions and encourage more people to do the same.
Councillor Marcus Hart, cabinet member for health and well-being, said: "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.
"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," he added.
Michael Amies, chairman of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust's organ donation committee, said: "Only 32 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.
"With 113 people waiting for a transplant in the county and a constant need for life-saving blood transfusions, 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.”
The council has become one of just four UK councils to sign up to a potentially life-saving partnership with NHS Blood and Transplant, which collects donated blood in England and north Wales and manages the UK’s organ donation system.
Anyone wishing to sign up to become a champion should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or log onto the website at worcestershire.gov.uk/donationchampions
To join the NHS Organ Donor Register go to organdonation.nhs.uk or call 0300 123 23 23. For more information about becoming a blood donor, go to blood.co.uk