Keeping organ donation close to our hearts

Bradford College is lit up in pink this week as it aims to get families talking about important decisions during Organ Donation Week (September 20-26, 2021).

A section of the David Hockney Building will shine as the college shares the message about joining the organ donation registry. The campaign, Leave Them Certain, encourages everyone to have conversations with loved ones. The goal is to make sure they know their organ donation wishes. Special Projects Manager Karen Piotr, who leads the initiative, said: ‘We think we know everything about our loved ones, but would we know about this decision?

Bradford College is also encouraging people to hang red hearts in their windows and have a heart-to-heart conversation.

Karen said: “Over 7,000 people across the country are waiting for a lifesaving transplant. We are looking for students to participate in activities and assignments to talk to their families about their organ donation decisions. »

Funding obtained to educate students

Earlier this year, Bradford College received £10,000 in community investment funds from NHS Blood and Transplant. The college’s project team obtained this funding to raise awareness among its students. The initiative started with a booth at the Freshers Fair in the David Hockney Building. Karen has spoken to over 100 students about what organ donation is and what solid organs can be used. She also encouraged them to go home and have the conversation with their families.

When Karen’s husband Mark passed away in May 2017, she knew what his wishes were. It was because of their previous conversations about organ donation. Read their story: Karen and Mark’s story – NHS Organ Donation

This important discussion led to quick arrangements to donate Mark’s organs. A total of eight people received life-saving organ transplants after Mark’s death.

Since then, Karen has been a strong advocate for organ donation. She is Chair of the Organ Donation Committee of the NHS Trust at Bradford Teaching Hospitals, Trustee of the Donor Family Network and an NHSBT Ambassador. Karen also shared the message through a series of interviews with Women’s Institute groups across the country. She appeared on Steph’s Packed Lunch on Channel 4 to talk about her work for the Donor Family Network.

show of hearts

In addition to placing hearts in their window, people can also walk around in the shape of a heart. They can join their friends to show their support and use a fitness app to record that. Karen said: “The goal is to inspire millions of family conversations because families are always involved before organ donation, so please get involved and share your images with us.”

Anyone can share the images on Bradford College’s social media platforms. They can use the #LeaveThemCertain #OrganDonation @bradfordcollege @nhsOrganDonor

For more facts, learn more about how to start the conversation, and how to encourage conversations across generations, visit

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