Minister backs Preston paper's donor campaign

The Lancashire Evening Post has signed up a high-pro?le recruit to its Have a Heart organ donor campaign – Health Secretary Dr John Reid. He has praised the Post campaign which aims to persuade more people to become organ donors and has signed up to the paper’s donor register himself.

Since March, the Post has persuaded more than 3,000 readers to agree to become organ donors in the event of their deaths. The paper has a circulation of 45,000.

Reid said: “The organ donor campaign run by the Lancashire Evening Post has been an outstanding success. I have nothing but praise for the fact that so many new people have been encouraged to sign the organ donor register. This is a tribute to all the courageous people who shared their stories and to the Lancashire Evening Post for having the vision to support them in this way.

“I believe that the campaign will ultimately make a very real difference to those people in the Preston area who are awaiting a donor organ and the transplant operation that will lead to a better quality of life.”

The Have a Heart appeal was started with a series of features looking at the plight of people waiting for transplants and the patients whose lives have been saved by receiving donated organs. The catalyst for starting the appeal was the recruitment of specialist donor liaison nurse Helen Bradley to work at Preston Hospital.

LEP editor Simon Reynolds said: “We have been overwhelmed by the response to this campaign. It just shows once again that newspapers, with the support of their readers, can make a real impact in their communities.

“In this case, it is literally a matter of life and death and some of the people who have been inspired to volunteer will indirectly help to save peoples’ lives. This is a fantastic achievement.”

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