Words Save Lives campaign launched to boost organ donation

Organ donation adverts take over Birmingham for British Transplant Games.

The NHS organ donation campaign is taking over Birmingham city centre advertising screens ahead of the British Transplant Games.

The Words Saves Lives campaign messages are live on large digital advertising screens in the city centre to coincide with the games taking place in the city.

The screens are located in busy, high footfall areas across Birmingham – at the Bullring, Birmingham Tower, Birmingham Media Eyes, Bullring North and New Street Screens.

With lots of focus and attention on the life-transforming impact of transplants, as over 1,000 transplant recipients arrive in Birmingham to compete in the Games, NHS Blood and Transplant is using adverts to urge people living in the city to tell their families they want to save lives through organ donation.

Right now, 306 people in the West Midlands are waiting for a transplant and for many of them, a donated organ is their last and only hope. An NHS Blood and Transplant survey found only 41% of respondents from the West Midlands had ever had a conversation about organ donation.

Across the UK, around three people die a day in need of a donated organ but many people have never told their relatives they want to save lives. Transplant opportunities are lost when families don’t go ahead with donation.

Anthony Clarkson, Interim Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We wish all the competitors the best of luck for this year’s British Transplant Games. Each and every competitor is testimony to the life-transforming impact of either organ or stem cell donation.

“Most of the organ transplant recipients competing at the Games are alive today thanks to someone donating their organs after death, and behind every donor is a selfless family who agreed to that donation going ahead. We are immensely grateful to every family that has ever agreed to donate a relative’s organs – thanks to them nearly 40,000 organ recipients are alive across the length and breadth of the UK.

“However, there are still around 6,000 people in the UK waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant. We hope our striking adverts will encourage people in Birmingham to talk to their families about organ donation – our message is simple, words save lives. We hope the people of the wonderful city of Birmingham will be inspired to tell their family that they want to be an organ donor so their family know they want to donate. It’s an important step to saving lives, as a family’s support is needed for organ donation to go ahead.”

James Neuberger, Chair of the British Transplant Games Local Organising Committee, said: “The Games offer a great opportunity for transplant recipients to celebrate their return to health.

“Transplant Sport and our partners are working closely together to deliver the biggest and best British Transplant Games to date. If you are not already on the Organ Donor Register, then please consider being so, and let your family know of your wishes. Joining is easy and takes only two minutes.”

Tell your family you want to save lives through organ donation and join the NHS Organ Donor Register at www.organdonation.nhs.uk