Charity Makes A Choice to Talk About Organ Donation

A local charity is raising awareness of deceased organ donation in East Lancashire by involving young people to spread key messages.

It’s My Choice is a project run by One Voice Blackburn which has been commissioned by NHS Blood and Transplant to continue its ground breaking work in reaching parts of the South Asian heritage communities. 

It’s My Choice will deliver a young person led project to raise awareness of deceased organ donation, with the aim of reducing the number of local residents opting out of organ donation. They will train young people they work with at One Voice with the support of Muslim scholars and NHS Blood and Transplant professionals to create their own toolkit to be shared in person and online via social media channels with other young people, primarily from South Asian Muslim heritage backgrounds. Young people will also present to their peers in schools in Blackburn with Darwen.

The aim of this project is to increase the uptake of organ donation amongst the South Asian heritage community in Blackburn with Darwen with a focus on influencing decision making of young people so that future generations do not opt out of the scheme, allowing more individuals from similar backgrounds to receive organs and live longer and fulfilled lives.

Nazia Khan, Health Lead, at One Voice Blackburn reiterated the importance of this subject.

“Young people are open-minded and intelligent. They are also willing to give this subject due care and attention and are eager to learn about organ donation. They are the perfect people to deliver this important message to the community. We need to ensure that people in our community are better informed before they make the choice of opting in or out of organ donation.”

Umar Malik, from NHS Blood and Transplant, welcomed One Voice Blackburn’s innovative approach.“We are very grateful to One Voice Blackburn for its support of organ donation and we are excited about the development of this new programme for young people within the Muslim community.
“With organ donation and transplantation both heavily impacted by the pandemic, it is more important than ever for people to have the conversation and share this decision with their families. If the time comes, we know families find the organ donation conversation much easier if they already know what their relative wanted.” 

“Register your organ donation decision using the following link and tell your family the choice you have made.  On behalf of the team at NHSBT, we wish to thank all at One Voice Blackburn for their brilliant work in courageously highlighting this sensitive topic to Muslim communities.” 

One Voice Blackburn has a long-standing record of working with the South Asian heritage communities in East Lancashire delivering health inequalities research, workshops and awareness programmes on a whole range of areas. They have been working on organ donation since 2014, winning various health awards.

The project has already created a leaflet, designed by young people, which will be distributed to school children in Blackburn. See below