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Students get creative to mark Organ Donation at TRFT

10 Dec 2012 15:11:46


A group of sixth form students from Thomas Rotherham College are helping The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust (TRFT) design a memorial to remember all the people who have donated organs and tissues for transplantation, and to recognise those that have benefited from these transplants.

It’s part of a project launched by TRFT to get people thinking about organ donation and to raise awareness across Rotherham by; ‘making organ donation the usual and not the unusual’.

Eight art students recently presented their design concepts in front of a judging panel made up of representatives from the Trust including Acting Chief Executive - Matthew Lowry, Specialist Nurse for Organ Donation - Sam O’Byrne and Lead Clinician for Organ Donation - Dr Dave Harling.

Dave said: "The calibre of the designs was really high and the students were very enthusiastic about their ideas. It’s going to be tricky to choose but either way we are going to have a really great piece of art work to help us commemorate organ donation. We need the communities ‘buy in’ to organ donation as it affects people in Rotherham and it is a life changing thing for the people who receive a donated organ. We wanted to raise the profile at the Trust and to say thank you to all those people who have given life to others by donating an organ or tissue."

Head of Art at Thomas Rotherham College Bev Witham said: "It is very good of the Trust to get the students involved in this and to give them such a worthwhile project to work on. They have lots’ of opportunities to work on projects to do with corporate and social responsibility but this is the first time they have ever worked on a project to raise awareness of organ donation.

"They have all put a lot of effort into their design concepts and no matter who wins this has been a great experience for them all. The winner will be supported by their colleagues to create the piece of art anyway so they are all going to feel involved in this project."

The winning idea will be chosen by the Organ Donation Committee and will be produced as a wooden sculpture or wall art as part of the students A level Art work. It will then get pride of place in the main entrance of Rotherham Hospital to remind people of the importance of organ donation.

The students will be supported during this time by a professional wood sculptor Clinton Challoner who is working with them on their A level art projects at the college.

Specialist Nurse for Organ Donation Sam O’Byrne said: "I am really looking forward to seeing the finished design. Rotherham Hospital is working hard to make sure that organ donation is considered as an option for patients at the end of life where appropriate. The memorial will not only show our respect to those that have given the gift of life, but will help to raise awareness of donation in the Trust, and will hopefully get people talking about whether they want to become an organ donor. Hopefully by working with the local community and the college on this project, we can help to promote the benefits of organ donation and really get people thinking.

Every day 3 people in the UK die whilst waiting for that all important transplant - in Rotherham there are 50 people on the waiting list. Making a decision in life about what you would like to happen and sharing that decision will ensure that your family know what to do for you when the time comes. To register your wishes join the organ donor register www.organdonation.nhs.uk"l

Rotherham Hospital is working hard to make sure that organ donation is considered as an option for patients at the end of life where appropriate. The memorial will not only show our respect to those that have given the gift of life, but will help to raise awareness of donation in the Trust, and will hopefully get people talking about whether they want to become an organ donor. Hopefully by working with the local community and the college on this project, we can help to promote the benefits of organ donation and really get people thinking.

 

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