Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council has joined forces with the Northern Health and Social Care Trust to promote the organ donation message at this year’s Auld Lammas Fair.
With only 40% of the population across Northern Ireland on the organ donation register, the Northern Trust hopes to capitalise on the huge numbers attending the event and encourage more people to sign up.
A dedicated organ donation stall will be located near the Museum building on Castle Street throughout the two-day event where members of the public will be able to sign the register.
Giving her support to the initiative, the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Joan Baird OBE, said: “It’s crucial that we encourage more people to talk about organ donation with their friends and family in order to increase the number of people on the register. With upwards of 200,000 people expected at the Auld Lammas Fair, it’s a great opportunity to reach out to people and make them more informed about the importance of signing the register. I would encourage as many people as possible to visit the stall, and learn more about the difference they could make.”
Organ Donation Specialist Nurse, Mary McAfee, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council on this initiative. The Auld Lammas Fair presents a unique opportunity to reach out to potential new donor register members. Visitors to the stall will meet healthcare professionals, donor families and transplant recipients, and we think their powerful messages and stories will have a positive impact on the numbers of people signing up. Life-saving transplants are only possible if people are willing to be donors and we are extremely grateful to the 42 families in Northern Ireland who helped to give a new beginning to people across the UK last year. Our aim is to encourage more people to talk about organ donation with their loved ones and increase the number of people on the register.”
Around 249 people in Northern Ireland are currently waiting for a transplant. Yet, of all the people who die each year across the UK, only around 1% die in circumstances where their organs could be donated. With this in mind, it is vital that no opportunity for someone to become a donor is missed.
To find out more about organ donation and how to sign the register go to www.organdonationni.info.
For information about the Auld Lammas Fair, which takes place in Ballycastle on August 28th and 29th, go to www.visitcausewaycoastandglens.com.