Millom makes way to become the UK’s first Donor Community

Efforts for Millom and the surrounding district to become the UK’s first Donor Community are underway as the Millom Health Action Group help mobilise 13,000 people of South Copeland to become donors.

Working with NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) the aim is to encourage 50% of the eligible 13,000 residents of South Copeland to become a donor of some sort over the next 12 months. This is the first time the donor teams have come together promoting end of life donation, blood, platelets, bone marrow and living donations, including sperm.

The project has already got a strong backing of ambassadors including Sky News Presenter; Stephen Dixon, Copeland Mayor; Mike Starkie and Jamie Reed MP.

Stephen Dixon said: ‘I’m thrilled to support the Around the Combe Donor Community. The gift of life is the greatest thing we can leave behind and it’s wonderful to see a whole community getting behind this idea.”

Mike Starkie, Copeland Mayor added:

“I think this is a fabulous initiative from the people of Millom once again highlighting the fantastic community spirit that exists in the town and among its residents.”

The team working on the donor community initiative includes NHSBT Nurse Sarah Ralley, Dr Geoff Jolliffe from Barrow in Furness, Councillor Felicity Wilson and Millom Health Action Group with assistance from the Millom Alliance.

Jenny Brumby from Millom Health Action Group said:

“Along with encouraging as many people as possible to sign up, it’s so important for us to motivate people to make sure family members are aware of their wishes.”

Lead GP Dr Geoff Jolliffe from Barrow-in-Furness said:

“Being a community that wants to be involved is so much more than just words. What Millom and Around the Combe community are doing is very much being involved in the local revolution in health care that we want to achieve- and putting their money where their mouth is. This effort to become a donor community has involved setting tough targets to achieve the real outcome which is more people receiving donations from the people of this community.”

Following the initial awareness meeting in June, the official launch of the donor community project was held at Millom’s annual carnival. Over the next 12 months the project team will be visiting local schools, sports teams and clubs to empower and encourage them to sign up.