Championing the conversation about organ donations

WarwickshireHenry Ison & Sons encouraged all staff members across its five Warwickshire branches to register as organ and blood donors in preparation for a new law.

New legislation in 2020 will consider every adult in England an organ donor upon death unless they opt out, but Henry Ison & Sons wants to encourage locals to have the conversation today to potentially help the thousands currently awaiting a life-saving transplant.

WarwickshireFuneral Arranger Paul Atkinson said: “Working in the funeral industry, we see desperate sadness from some families whose loved ones could have benefited from the generosity of individuals who become donors in the UK. A simple act of kindness like signing the organ and blood donor register could make a massive difference to somebody’s life.”

“No staff member hesitated when we recommended joining the NHS Organ Donor Register before the law changes in 2020. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t make this decision and have the conversation now.”

All 10 staff members across Henry Ison & Sons went a step further by registering as blood donors as well as organ donors. With the help of NHS Blood and Transplant, pink window displays were erected in every branch to encourage passers-by to do the same.

Karen Healy, Senior Case Studies and Communications Officer at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “Every day thousands of people’s lives are saved or improved thanks to the generosity of both blood and organ donors like the staff at Henry Ison & Son Funeral Directors, who we are very grateful to.

“Organ donation is, and always will be, a precious gift. And although the law is changing around 2020, it will still come down to the generosity of individuals and their families who make the decision to support organ donation.”

Paul hopes his branch’s commitment will help people come to a decision ahead of the law around organ donation changing next year.

Paul concluded: “We need more people to sign up to be blood and organ donors as it’s important to help others in their time of need. It’s easy to do and you could be a hero – as they say, not all superheroes wear capes.”

Karen added: “We hope with the awareness raised by businesses like Henry Ison & Sons Funeral Directors more people will be encouraged to discuss organ donations and share it with their family.”

To find out more about organ donation, the law change, or to opt in or out, visit https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/