A groundbreaking new campaign is calling on the church to increase the number of blood and organ donors in the UK. Founded as a two-year partnership between creative agency KORE and NHS Blood and Transplant, the initiative aims to profile the need for more blood and organ donors and encourage donation as an alternative way of personal giving within churches. Sponsored by Give.net and in association with denominations, organisations and festivals including Salvation Army, the Church of England, Methodist church, United Reformed Church, Baptist Union, 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.
Lorna Williamson, Medical Director of NHSNT says, “All major faith groups support donation in the spirit of giving and we’re excited to explore this in more detail by working with the Christian Church. By raising awareness amongst its members and community about the daily need for blood transfusions and organ transplants across the NHS, we hope to banish myths, educate people and encourage blood and organ donation. Donating blood, joining the Organ Donor Register, or consenting to organ donation from a deceased loved one is a unique gift and one that can truly save lives.”
Every day 7,000 units of blood are needed to meet hospital demand, with approximately 225,000 extra blood donors needed each year to maintain consistency. More than 1,000 people die each year in the UK waiting for an organ transplant. The Church, which has a long history of giving and generosity and has millions of people across the country as its members, is ideally placed to raise awareness and help to meet the need for blood and organ donation in the UK.
This unique campaign seeks to equip individuals and churches as advocates for blood and organ donation enabling them to raise awareness of this key issue with their family, friends and community and potentially help to save thousands of lives each year.
Lieut-Colonel Ian Barr, Secretary for Programme for The Salvation Army in the UK and Ireland, said: "We support this campaign wholeheartedly. Giving and thinking of others is in the DNA of members of The Salvation Army. Many of them are blood donors and we want to encourage more people to get on board through the Flesh and Blood campaign, which we will be promoting at our major events. I know from my own experience that this can be a matter of life and death and that those who receive donated blood and organs never lose their sense of gratitude to their unknown donor."
By joining together to support fleshandblood, the campaign associates play a vital role in representing the church and enabling a collaborative voice on the issue within their communities and networks. Each associate commits to raising the profile of blood and organ donation and highlighting the various ways that individuals and groups can get involved at a local level.