Smile Through It II: The Next Chapter

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Donor Day

Posted by Oli on Tuesday 7th April, 2009

So today was the culmination of months of work from on of the LLTGL advocates, Holly Shaw, who’s been taking part in the Channel 4 young people’s campaign show Battlefront pushing Organ Donation. Her campaign – Be A 2 Minute Hero – based on the idea that it takes 2 minutes to sign the organ donor register, the same time it takes to make a decent cup of tea, has really captured the attention of many, many people.

Today alone the online registrations for the organ donor register have increased from the usual average of 200 a day to 3,200! That’s simply insane. It’s one of the biggest jumps the ODR has ever seen online. Not only that but since 1st April, the average sign up rate has risen from 200 per day to nearly 600 per day, another astonishing figure. Of course, the average number increase may be coincidence as it’s not 100% provable, but it’s a pretty staggering coincidence if it is.

Holly has been working incredibly hard for us since before we were a charity so to see her a) well enough, post-tx, to carry out such a massive campaign and undertake such massive amounts of work and b) brave enough to do it all on live TV and recorded for a Channel 4 doc when she wouldn’t even do pre-recorded media when she joined us is absolutely fantastic.

I went down to London after my day on the Easter Project at the Grove (more of which later in the week when I get chance to draw breath) to join the team for a celebratory drinks event to round out the day.

I arrived at 7.30 after a mamouth journey thanks to the frankly apalling service on London Midland, which I won’t get into here because this is a post about Holly and not some total failure of a train company who are staffed by incompetants and provide the worst customer service since Basil Fawlty but without the humour. When I got there the lady in question wasn’t actually there, having been whisked off to the Sky News studios to do a live interview about the day.

This was far from her first media coup for the day, having convinced the Metro to replace the “O” in their masthead with a heart and include a major organ donation story with photo to promote the day, as well as sitting on the sofa with Ben Shepard on this morning’s GM:TV and seeing articles either in or headed for both the Guardian and the Mirror.

When she got back, she also revealed that she’d had a phone call suggesting she look on the PM’s website where, sat at the top of the front page was a headline leading to this article on his support for her campaign. If that’s not a coup, what is?

It was a great evening for mixing, networking and general back-slapping for Holly and her Battlefront team, including Emily from LLTGL who provided invaluable support both in kicking the campaign off just after Holly had her transplant and latterly in seeing the Donor Day through with her all day in Canary Warf.

Holly’s Helpers all over the country set up Donor Desks in their local areas and the numbers from NHS Blood & Transplant go to show just what a difference they all made. It’s an astonishing achievement and I for one am hugely proud.

So, if you’re not already, stop reading this and be a 2 Minute Hero – put the kettle on and sign the organ donor register. Now.


One Response to “Donor Day”

  1. Holly said

    You so just made me cry! AGAIN! arghhh! I’m turning into an emotional wreck!

    Lovely to meet you chuck! If your ever ooop north, pop in for a cuppa!

    Much Love x

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