Earlier this year the WI launched the ‘Time to Talk about Organ Donation’ campaign to highlight the need for more people to sign up to the organ donor register and speak to their family about their wish to donate organs after their death.
On average 3 people a day in the UK, die while waiting for an organ. However, only 1% of people who died last year became an organ donor. One reason for this low rate is that from 2015 a new consent system in England and Wales, requires the family’s consent for a loved one to become a donor regardless of the wishes of the deceased. In 2013 – 2014, 41% of families chose not to donate the organs of a potential donor, some of which were registered organ donors. In contrast, last year 89% of families who were aware of their loved ones wishes to donate their organs gave consent.
To raise awareness of the need for more organ donors to speak to their family about their wishes, we asked members at our July meeting to make hearts in yarn, felt and decoupage for a yarn bomb in Urmston. At our September meeting we collected over 170 beautifully crafted hearts from our members. Each was given a tag with further details of the campaign and used to adorn the railings at the central crossroads in Urmston.
So, unfashionably early one Saturday morning five cunningly disguised Social Lites descended on Urmston with handfuls of knitted, crocheted, sewn and decoupage hearts. Like stealthy ninjas they silently decorated the railings around the central crossroads, and disappeared like phantoms back into the early morning mist.
The same day Eden Square hosted Urmston Food & Drink festival, and the organisers kindly gave the Social Lites free use of a stall to publicise the campaign further and encourage visitors to take a heart with them. By the end of the day most of the hearts had been taken and we received lots of positive feedback on twitter and facebook from residents pledging to sign the organ donation register.
To become an organ donor and join the NHS Organ Donation Register, you can either:
– Complete the The NHS Blood and Transplant online registration form
– Call 0300 123 23 23
– Sign up using your Boots Advantage card
– Contact your GP
More information about the WI Time to Talk campaign can be found here.
Author – Kate Blackburn