Richmond Council has pledged to help save lives ahead of Organ Donation Week, 3-9 September.
The national NHS campaign is asking people to talk to their families about organ donation to increase the number of people whose lives can be saved or transformed by an organ transplant.
Nationally, three people die every day in need of an organ, and there are around 20 in Richmond on the transplant waiting list.
Families will always be approached about donation if a loved one can donate their organs. Knowing what their loved one wanted helps families support their decision at a difficult time.
Compared to London and England, much higher proportion of Richmond residents are registered as donors. Around 96,524 people in Richmond upon Thames are already on the NHS Organ Donor Register. However, only half as many families of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic eligible donors support organ donation, compared with families of white eligible donors.
More and more families in Richmond are saying yes to organ donation but there is still an urgent shortage of donors. The Council is asking people in the borough to tell their families they want to donate to help make sure more lives are saved.
Cllr Piers Allen, Cabinet Member for Health and Public Health added:
“Many people don’t realize that their family’s support is needed for organ donation to go ahead. So, please take time to talk to your family about organ donation and let them know what you would like their decision to be for you, and what your decision should be for them.
“My family already know my wish is to donate my organs if it can help save a life or somebody’s sight, but it is particularly important we ask the younger members of our family too.”
Houda Al-Sharifi, Director of Public Health for Richmond Council, said:
“Only one third of adults in England have told their partner or their family they want to donate, despite 8 out of 10 people telling us they would be willing to donate or would consider it.
“Sadly, many opportunities are lost every year because families don’t know if their loved one wanted to be a donor or not.
“We can change things, though we need your support to get people talking.”.