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'Spelling it out in National Transplant Week'

Christians urged to talk about organ donation decision with friends and family

The UK Church is no stranger to organ recitals but for National Transplant Week 2014, Christian denominations and local churches will be pulling out all the stops to raise awareness for organ donation.

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Congregations and wider communities are being asked to help save more lives by joining the NHS Organ Donor Register and telling their friends and family about their organ donation decision.

The concerted push for awareness comes as part of the Baptists Together-supported fleshandblood campaign, which encourages the Church to see blood and organ donation as part of its giving. The week will build on the success of last month’s National Blood Week, where the ‘fab’ campaign saw over a million twitter impressions generated and welcomed the support of its 12th Associate, the Methodist Church in Ireland.

Groundbreaking research carried out by the fleshandblood campaign reveals that 48 per cent of the Christians surveyed say they have joined the NHS Organ Donor Register.

However, only half of these had also talked about their donation decision with their friends and family highlighting the importance of National Transplant Week messaging for 2014.

Organ donation This year, the aim of the campaign is to get people to “Spell It Out” to increase awareness that families will be asked to agree to organ donation and to encourage more people to join the NHS Organ Donor Register.

Local churches are being provided with practical tools and ideas to promote donation through the “Church Challenge” www.fleshandblood.org/churchchallenge, with those taking part receiving personalised certificates signed by the Chief Executive of NHS
Blood and Transplant, Lynda Hamlyn.

Dr Paul Murphy, National Clinical Lead for Organ Donation for NHS Blood and Transplant, in applauding this initiative, said, 'There continues to be a great need for people throughout the UK to register to donate blood and organs.

'It is through partnerships like the fleshandblood campaign that we will see awareness rise and opinions around donation change. Without donation there can be no transplantation; if we are to meet the current need for organ transplantation, we need all groups in society to respond to campaigns such as this.

Sponsored by Give.net and in association with denominations, organisations and festivals including the Church of England, The Salvation Army, Methodist Church, United Reformed Church, Baptist Union, Church In Wales, Church of Ireland, Church of Scotland, Seventh Day Adventist Church, Methodist Church in Ireland, Hope and Evangelical Alliance, the fleshandblood campaign marks the first time the NHS has worked alongside the church on a national initiative of this kind.

For more information about the fab Church Challenge visit www.fleshandblood.org/churchchallenge

Baptist Times, 07/07/2014
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