It’s Organ Donation Week!

This September we’re all set for our biggest Organ Donation Week ever!

From September 20th to 26th we’re organising a myriad of events and activities all around the country and online, with the aim of getting families to talk about organ donation.

This year, for the first time, children and young people are at the heart of our message. We know that people often don’t consider that children and young people need transplants, so we will be shining a light on the lives of those youngsters waiting for a transplant.

Hear to Heart Organ donation week logo
Organ Donation Week logo

Living with an illness that differentiates them from their peers can make some children feel excluded, which is why we’ve teamed up with the Harmonies of Hope choir from London, who will be performing their beautiful rendition of the song ‘Invisible’.

The choir members are young patients from Evelina London Children’s Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital who have all either received, or are waiting for, a transplant, as well as some of their siblings.

We’ll also be telling the individual stories of choir members, to highlight their lived experiences and also those of bereaved families who had the courage to say yes to donation at the worst possible time.

From September onwards, 11–16-year-olds in England will now be offered lessons on donation at schools, so if you have young people in your family you can help them to prepare for these classes by starting a conversation about organ donation with them.

Older teenagers will also be prompted to register as organ donors when they apply for their driving licence, so make sure they’re prepared too. Ask what they know about organ donation already and share your thoughts on the subject. Little children often say the funniest things – tell us what the young people in your life say about organ donation via our social media channels!

Look out too for prominent buildings in your local area turning pink! Several landmarks around the country will be illuminated pink to support Organ Donation Week and we’ll be sharing plenty of photos online. You can get involved by displaying one of our downloadable hearts in your window at home to get people talking. You can download a heart via a link on our social media.

Other events include walking, running, cycling, climbing and other challenges, all geared to raising awareness of organ donation during the week.

Nine out of ten bereaved families support organ donation going ahead if they have previously discussed it. Families will always be involved before donation can go ahead, so that conversation could be the most powerful thing you ever do to help save lives. Make sure your family know what you want.

We would encourage everyone to register their decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register and have a conversation about organ donation. If you are reading this after the Week has passed you can still start the conversation, perhaps with this article or with an Organ Donation Week activity you’ve noticed.

You can follow us on our social media @NHSOrganDonor. Thank you for supporting Organ Donation Week!  

Prominent buildings will be turning pink. Picture: Stockton Town Hall
Prominent buildings will be turning pink. Picture: Stockton Town Hall