Behavioural organ donation campaign scoops top UK award

Merseyside based behaviour change, insight and engagement specialists ICE Creates have scooped a top award at the UK Public Sector Communications Awards 2016 for their organ donation behaviour change campaign.

ICE won the ‘Local Community Initiative of the Year Award’ for their campaign to change perceptions, increase organ donor register sign-ups and follow through of organ donation in the African Caribbean community. The pilot, delivered on behalf of NHS Blood and Transplant, recruited black community leaders and influencers in the North West to champion the cause, get the African Caribbean community talking and taking action to increase sign ups to the NHS Organ Donor Register.

Black people are more likely to need an organ transplant than people from white communities as they are more susceptible to illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes and certain forms of hepatitis, all of which may result in organ failure and the need for a lifesaving transplant. The blood group and tissue type of a donor needs to match the recipient’s and this is much more likely if they come from the same ethnic group. However misunderstanding and misconceptions about organ donation means that there is a shortage of African-Caribbean people willing to donate their organs.

Nearly 100 champions backed the campaign which resulted in over 400 African Caribbean people registering a decision to donate on the NHS Organ donor Register. One donor can potentially transform the lives of up to nine people.

Stuart Jackson, chief executive at ICE said:

“By initially meeting people in their local area we successfully engaged black community leaders and influencers to both own and, through this ownership, share why it is important to them that their communities raise awareness and take positive action around the urgent need for more people from the community to commit to become organ donors.

“It’s been fantastic to see local businesses, church leaders, voluntary organisations, colleges and clinicians working together to spur people to action. Sharing with the people that matter to them why they have taken this literally life changing decision is so powerful in changing perceptions and behaviours and the key to our campaign success.”

Ceri Rose from NHS Blood and Transplant said:

“I am delighted that this important behaviour change pilot has been recognised with this high profile award win. We commend ICE and our community champions for getting behind this campaign to challenge perceptions, bust some long held myths and mobilise people to engage, own and take action. There is an urgent need for more African Caribbean people to donate their organs and we hope that those who have made a decision to save lives will discuss their decision with their family and continue to promote organ donation in their communities.”

For more information about organ donation and to sign up to the organ donor register visit organdonation.nhs.uk

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