Published: Monday, 8th January 2018
The Royal Borough's roadshow encourages people to talk about organ donation.
The Council has teamed up with Charlton Athletic Community Trust for the outreach programme which coincides with the launch of the NHS's 'Words save lives' campaign.
It urges people who have signed up to the organ donor register already to share their decision with their family and next of kin as they will need to support their decision.
Highlighting the importance of organ donation
Former Plumstead resident Laura Manners, helped kick off the roadshow in General Gordon Square in Woolwich today (8 January) - nine years to the day since her kidney transplant!
The roadshow will visit other high footfall locations around the borough over the next few weeks. An information stand will provide support and advice and staff will give out leaflets debunking some of the myths surrounding organ donation.
The start of the roadshow comes just a few months after Councillors passed a cross-party motion to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation and back the introduction of a nationwide opt-out organ donation system.
Since then, the Council has encouraged NHS Greenwich Clinical Commission Group (CCG) and Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust to get behind the roadshow.
'Hope it encourages more residents to sign up'
Councillor David Gardner, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said: "Around three people die every day in the UK while waiting for an organ transplant.
"I hope our organ motion roadshow encourages more residents to sign the organ donor register as well as encouraging those that have already signed to share their wishes with their families.
"Every potential donor is vitally important, as only 1 in 100 people die in circumstances where their organs can be considered for transplantation - but signing up as an organ donor isn't the end of the story."
Laura Manners said: "It's so easy for people to forget or not speak to their loved ones about their decision to donate and those organs are unintentionally wasted so I think it's so important that we change the system from opt in to opt out."
Tell your friends and family
Managing Director of NHS Greenwich Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Neil Kennett-Brown said: "Thousands of people across the UK are waiting for a transplant that could save their life.
"If you support organ donation, it's important to make your opinions known. Take the time to discuss your views with friends and family and register your choice with the NHS Organ Donation Register."
Michaela Heller, consultant anaesthetist and intensivist at Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust, said: "Organ donation can save and transform lives and, as clinical lead for organ donation at Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust, I'm well aware of the shortage of donors.
"This campaign is an important new step in promoting a nationwide opt-out system, which would significantly increase the number of organs available for transplant."
The organ donation roadshow will be visiting the following places in the next few weeks:
- Monday 15 January - Eltham Centre, 1pm to 3.30pm
- Monday 29 January - Tesco Woolwich, 10am to 12pm
- Monday 29 January - Greenwich Centre, 1pm to 3.30pm