Plymouth Albion Rugby Club joined forces with Torbay and Derriford Hospitals at the weekend to help promote the organ donation campaign, iLIVEiGIVE.
At the Albion double home fixture on Saturday 12th January, when the men played Rotherham and the ladies played Reading, both home teams sported the campaign t-shirts in their warm-up, with the aim of raising awareness and encouraging people to sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register (ODR).
The iLIVEiGIVE campaign has two main aims; to increase the number of people signing up to the organ donor register and to encourage people to share their feelings regarding organ donation with their loved ones. One donor can save or transform up to nine lives and many more can be helped through the donation of tissue.
South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, the Trust which runs Torbay Hospital, originated the campaign, which is now spreading to other NHS Trusts in the South West, including Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Derriford Hospital.
T-shirts carrying the campaign logo are used as walking adverts to help raise awareness and encourage people to get more involved with the social media aspect of the campaign. Supporters have been wearing the t-shirts at various events and holiday locations, and then posting the photos on Facebook and Twitter. Well-known local, national and international role models and celebrities are being contacted and encouraged to do the same.
A stop-motion video which was made just before Christmas at Torbay Hospital featuring more than 150 staff, patients and public, all wearing the iLIVEiGIVE t-shirt, is now proving popular on YouTube where it has so far had over 1500 views. The backing track, Supertramp’s ‘Give a Little Bit’, was kindly licensed by the band’s Roger Hodgson.
Maree Wright, Clinical Lead for Organ Donation at Torbay Hospital, commented: “Sincere thanks to Plymouth Albion players, staff and supporters for inviting us to their club and helping us raise the profile of organ donation.
“As well as encouraging people to sign up to the register, we are really keen that people share their wishes and opinions around organ donation with their family and friends. By discussing end of life wishes and decisions in advance, it can help to reduce stress and anxiety at what is already a very difficult time.”
Specialist Nurse in Organ Donation, James Harrison, from NHS Blood and Transport and based at Derriford Hospital, added: “iLIVEiGIVE is an exciting and novel approach to promoting the Organ Donor Register and we want to support it in our own Trust. Knowing people’s prior wishes can save several lives and makes the donation more likely to occur. On average, three people a day die whilst waiting for a transplant.”
Although the men’s team unfortunately lost their match to Rotherham, the ladies were triumphant in their fantastic 31-0 win against Reading. After the match, ladies’ team spokesperson, Vee Thompson said: “Helping to promote the iLIVEiGIVE campaign was something that the ladies were very keen to do.
“Hopefully the Albion supporters will now make their wishes known to loved ones and a good number will sign up to the Organ Donor Register. We hope that this is just the beginning of our partnership with the iLIVEiGIVE campaign.”
Published: 15 January 2013