Staff and customers at hundreds of the UK's top businesses are being offered the opportunity to become lifesavers thanks to a new partnership between Business in the Community and UK Transplant to encourage more people to join the NHS Organ Donor Register (ODR).

By appealing to its 800-strong membership to promote organ donation to key stakeholders, Business in the Community will be joining an impressive line-up of private and public sector organisations including Boots, DVLA, Identity and Passport Service, Pentax, Nationwide and Orange who have already helped raise awareness amongst internal and external audiences.

More than 9,000 people in the UK are desperately in need of an organ transplant to save or dramatically improve their lives. Last year a record number of people (3,087) benefited from this gift of life but around 1,000 die each year before a suitable organ becomes available.

"We fully support this important initiative and we are working with our membership - as part of our new Business Action on Health initiative - to encourage their staff and customers to find out more about organ donation and to add their name to the ODR," explained Stephen Howard, Managing Director, Business in The Community.

"This is all about allowing people to make an informed choice about organ donation and for those who wish to, to make a pledge to make a real difference to the quality of someone's life."

Angie Burton, Marketing and Campaigns Manager from UK Transplant, said: "We are delighted that Business in the Community has agreed to join us in our lifesaving drive to promote organ donation.

"There are a number of quick and easy ways for businesses to promote organ donation amongst employees and customers such as providing a link from their website, including an article in their staff magazine or including an organ donation flyer in payslips. We are always pleased to develop bespoke initiatives with individual organisations".

Organisations interested in promoting organ donation amongst employees and customers should contact the UKT campaigns office on 0117 975 7466 or email campaignsuktransplant.nhs

Notes

1. Business in the Community inspires, engages, supports and challenges companies to continually improve the impact they have on society and the environment. Its 800 member companies represent 1 in 5 of the UK private sector workforce.

2. The NHS Organ Donor Register is a confidential database operated by UK Transplant that contains the names of more than 15 million individuals who wish to pass on the gift of life through organ donation after their death. This figure represents approximately 24% of the total UK population. The register can be accessed by authorised medical staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to establish an individual's wishes for donation.

3. The Human Tissue Act 2004 makes clear that the wishes of the deceased must be put first and where an individual has expressed a wish to donate by joining the NHS Organ Donor Register, carrying a donor card or verbally or in writing to a friend or family member, NHS staff will do all they can to ensure those wishes are fulfilled.

4. More than 9,000 people in the UK need an organ transplant to save or dramatically improve their lives but the shortage of donors means that just 3,000 transplants can be performed each year. Around 1,000 patients die each year before receiving the transplant they need.

5. UK Transplant is the NHS organisation responsible for matching and allocating donated organs. It is part of NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), a Special Health Authority within the NHS that manages the National Blood Service, Bio Products Laboratory, and UK Transplant.

UK Transplant

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