Churches challenged to spread the word on donation

  • Join the Church Challenge here

Churches across the UK are being challenged to become "DonorChurches" and raise the profile of blood and organ donation intheir community. The fab ChurchChallenge launched this week bythe fleshandblood campaignis the first of its kind and seeks to encourage churches to seeblood and organ donation as part of their giving.

"We have seen an amazing response in the UK Church over the past12 months and are encouraged by the number of local churchesraising the profile of blood and organ donation", says JulsHollidge, fleshandblood'sCampaign Director.

"What we need now is a long term commitment thatcontinues to support the ongoing demand for blood and organsthat the NHS faces every year."

In just one year, 30,000 churches have received informationabout the fleshandblood campaign and across the UKdenominations, organisations and festivals have taken part inraising the profile of donation, mobilising the church to increasethe number of donors. This new challenge aims to equip localchurches as long term advocates of donation providing practicaltools to help churches donate together, talk about donation andraise awareness in their communities.

In response to the introduction of the Church Challenge LyndaHamlyn, Chief Executive of NHS Blood and Transplant who wasawarded a CBE in the New Year's Honours for her servicesto healthcare said, "On behalf of NHS Blood and Transplant I'dlike to thank churches for their support, for making donationimportant in their community and for the hope this will bring toall those who
depend on our life saving work."

Groundbreaking research carried out by thefleshandblood campaign suggeststhat 70% of Christians already consider blood and/or organdonation to be part of their core "Christian giving" or areopen to the idea. Almost one in ten Christians have given blood inthe last year compared to 4% of the eligible population overthe last two years.

Revd Dr Martyn Atkins, General Secretary of the Methodist Churchsaid, "The fab ChurchChallenge is an exciting opportunity for churches to becomelong term advocates of blood and organ donation in their localcommunities. By raising awareness, encouraging discussion andproviding ways to give they could play a significant role intransforming the lives of others through donation."

Sponsored by Give.net and in association with denominations,organisations and festivals including the Church of England,The Salvation Army, Methodist Church, United Reformed Church,Baptist Union, Church In Wales, Church of Scotland, SeventhDay Adventist Church, Hope and Evangelical Alliance, thefleshandblood campaign marks thefirst time the NHS has worked alongside the Church
on a national initiative of this kind.

Around three people die per day due to the shortage of organs inthe UK. This unique campaign seeks to equip individuals andchurches as advocates for blood and organ donation, enablingthem to raise awareness of blood and organ donation with theirfamily, friends and community and potentially help to savethousands of lives each year.