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British Campaign Spreads Word on Organ Donation

The “Fab Church Challenge” aims to encourage churches in the United Kingdom to become “donor churches” and equip them as long-term advocates of donation by providing practical tools to help them donate together, talk about donation and raise awareness in their communities.
The FleshandBlood campaign recently launched the challenge. This latest stage of the campaign seeks to encourage churches to see blood and organ donations as part of their giving.

The campaign launched at the start of 2013, marking the first time the National Health Service has worked alongside the church on a national initiative of this kind.

A range of denominations and organizations, including the Baptist Union of Great Britain (BUGB), have backed the campaign.

In just one year, 30,000 churches have received information about the FleshandBlood campaign.

Across the U.K., denominations, organizations and festivals have taken part in raising the profile of donation, mobilizing churches to increase the number of donors.

Around three people die each day due to the shortage of organs in the U.K.

“We have seen an amazing response in the U.K. church over the past 12 months and are encouraged by the number of local churches raising the profile of blood and organ donation,” Juls Hollidge, FleshandBlood’s campaign director, said. “What we need now is a long-term commitment that continues to support the ongoing demand for blood and organs that the NHS faces every year.”

Any church taking up the challenge will be asked to make three commitments:

â—     To donate together

â—     To talk about donation by integrating it into their teaching

â—     To raise community awareness by hosting an event, connecting with local schools or getting involved in blood and transplant week

Lots of ideas and resources are available on the website.

 “On behalf of NHS Blood and Transplant, I’d like to thank churches for their support, for making donation important in their community and for the hope this will bring to all those who depend on our life-saving work.” said Lynda Hamlyn, chief executive of NHS Blood and Transplant, who was awarded a CBE as part of Britain’s New Year’s Honors for her services to healthcare.

Groundbreaking research carried out by the FleshandBlood campaign suggests that 70 percent of Christians already consider blood or organ donation to be part of their core “Christian giving” or are open to the idea.

Almost one in 10 Christians have given blood in the last year compared to 4 percent of the eligible population over the last two years.

The FleshandBlood campaign is sponsored by Give.net and in association with denominations, organizations and festivals, including the Church of England, The Salvation Army, Methodist Church, United Reformed Church, BUGB, Church In Wales, Church of Scotland, Seventh Day Adventist Church, Hope and Evangelical Alliance.

The campaign was founded as a partnership between NHS Blood and Transplant and KORE, a creative agency that builds socially good ideas.

A version of this article first appeared in The Baptist Times of Great Britain and is used with permission.