NHS and Tropical Sun start family ‘Heart to Heart’ about blood and organ donation

Tuesday 30th March 2021 05:07 EDT

Britons are being encouraged to have a ‘heart to heart’ as part of a new campaign to get people from Black and Asian backgrounds talking about blood and organ donation.

Launched on 23rd March, by NHS Blood and Transplant and food brand Tropical Sun, the ‘Heart-to-Heart’ campaign hopes of sparking life-saving conversations about blood and organ donation.  As part of the campaign Tropical Sun’s packets of rice and tins of Jackfruit feature the NHS’ calls-to-action prompting conversations around blood and organ donation. They also feature powerful real-life stories of people whose lives have been directly impacted by blood and organ donation. 

Geraldine Parker Smith, National BAME Marketing Manager at NHS Blood and Transplant said, “Through this campaign, we also want to encourage families to have the conversation about organ donation. People from Black and Asian backgrounds are often more likely to need a transplant, and when it comes to organs like kidneys, the best match may come from someone of the same ethnic background. We are urging people to register their organ donation decision and to share it with their family. Whatever your decision, we know that families are more likely to support it when they have the certainty of knowing what you want to happen.”

In addition to the on-pack promotion, Tropical Sun has also recruited some leading British celebrities to donate blood and record personal reflections on organ donation. This includes support from celebrities including legendary athlete, Col Dame Kelly Holmes (MBE mil), actress Nina Wadia OBE and actor Ricky Whittle, best known for his starring role in the TV series American Gods.

Nina Wadia knows personally the importance of having a conversation about organ donation. Her mum lived with kidney failure and daily dialysis for many years, until eventually a suitable donor was found. While her mum sadly died a few years later, Nina speaks of her gratitude for the extra time the transplant gave to the family.

Nina commented, “Even as an actress, I know how difficult it can be to find the right words when you are trying to discuss a serious topic, such as organ or blood donation. So, I am glad that the NHS continues to try and find ways to make the conversation easier.

“For many families, cooking and eating are the times when we can all come together to discuss both the little and big life matters. Having the conversation can actually be much easier and quicker than you expect. And yet the difference that quick chat can make, for people like my mum, and so many others, who are living in need of a transplant or regular blood transfusions is indescribable.

“What greater gift can there be of knowing that you can be responsible for saving somebody – or several people’s lives? Or giving a child extra time with a parent, or a parent extra time with their child? Please don’t wait, find out more about blood and organ donation and have the conversation with your loved ones today.”

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