Newry Town Hall will be lit up all of this week to raise awareness of organ donation.
The special Organ Donation Week runs until Sunday.
And – with 15 people on the waiting list for transplants in the Newry, Mourne and Down District Council area – it is lighting up the Town Hall pink in support of the initiative.
Council Chairman Mark Murnin said: “The council is delighted to support this national campaign and highlight awareness for Organ Donation Week 2018.
“This support is a continuation of the commitment and partnership with the Southern Health and Social Care Trust to help highlight organ donation awareness and promote good health and wellbeing within the district.”
Councillor Murnin added: “Nationally, three people die every day in need of an organ. I am aware there are around 15 people in the Newry, Mourne and Down area currently on the transplant waiting list.
“I would encourage everyone to ensure their family is aware of their wish to donate organs so the the family has knowledge of and be in position to support their decision.
“Sadly, many opportunities are lost every year because families don’t know if their loved one wanted to be a donor or not.”
Edel Livingstone, the specialist organ donation nurse for Southern Trust, said despite recent advances in organ donation and transplantation, there are still around 137 people waiting for a transplant in Northern Ireland, “so we are always keen to encourage new donors to join the register”.
She continued: “We hope that the ‘Yes I Donate’ campaign makes people consider becoming a donor, sign up and very importantly tell their loved ones that they are registered.
“There are information stands in our local hospitals throughout this week for anyone to stop by to pick up more information or speak to staff about becoming a donor.”
Interim Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant, Anthony Clarkson said: “It’s brilliant of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council to show its support for Organ Donation Week.
“The modern organ donor card is pink and it certainly gets conversations going. We’d like people in Newry, Mourne and Down district to just talk to their families. Words save lives.
“Please, tell your family you want to save lives through organ donation, because it could be the difference between life and death for someone else.”
Around 83,315 people in the Newry, Mourne and Down District are already on the NHS Organ Donor Register.
Residents in the district can also show their support for organ donation and help get others talking about organ donation.
They can download a digital organ donor card onto mobile phones so friends and family can see you support organ donation, and share social posts from @NHSOrganDonor on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram
For further information and to register visit: www.organdonation.nhs.uk
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