Entertainment

UTV launches organ donation campaign

This Morning's Eamonn and Ruth are supporting From The Heart.

With 15 people dying in Northern Ireland each year while waiting for a transplant, UTV has launched a new campaign - From The Heart - to raise awareness of organ donation and the NHS Organ Donor Register.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013
Tags:
  • Health
  • television
  • entertainment
  • From the heart
  • UTV

UTV will be highlighting the shortage of donated organs UK-wide, with the aim of encouraging viewers to volunteer to join the organ donor register and talk to their loved ones about their wishes.

In Northern Ireland, around 200 people are on the active transplant list.

However, only 31% of people have registered as donors - a much lower proportion of the population than in some other parts of the world.

UK-wide, 10,000 people are in need of a transplant and 1,000 of them die waiting every year.

All this week, a range of special shows on UTV and across the ITV network, will look at the issue of organ donation, exploring the implications of the donor shortage and the reasons behind it.

They will also focus on the recipients of donor organs - and how everyone has the opportunity to make a difference, giving a gift this Valentine's Day that could transform the lives of others.

With this campaign, we are using a memorable date in the nation's calendar - Valentine's Day - to raise awareness of an issue that touches many lives.

Michael Wilson, UTV

UTV Live will feature a special report, while a Tonight special at 8pm on Wednesday will examine public attitudes to organ donation and tell a series of personal stories of those on the waiting list.

Then at 9pm on Wednesday, a host of stars will join presenter Dermot O'Leary for a one-hour entertainment special.

From The Heart will feature a range of musical and comedy treats from the likes of Rowan Atkinson, Hugh Laurie, Pixie Lott, Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse, who will come together to pledge their support for the awareness-raising campaign.

Throughout the week, Daybreak, This Morning and Loose Women will all show their support for the campaign, featuring case studies and personal stories.

Check out UTV's dedicated microsite From The Heart for information on organ donation, and also a 'join the register' button to make the process of signing up easy for viewers who wish to do so.

You can also follow the campaign on Twitter using the hashtag #fromtheheart.