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Christians urged to give blood and organ donate

The UK Church is being called upon to encourage its members to give blood and organ donate and talk more about it as an alternative to personal giving.

A new campaign launched today between creative agency KORE and NHS Blood and Transplant aims to increase the number of donors in the UK.

The fleshandblood campaign marks the first time the NHS has worked alongside the Church on a national initiative of this kind.  Denominations onboard include the Church of England, Salvation Army, Methodist Church, United Reformed Church, Baptist Union, Hope and Evangelical Alliance.

Jules Hollidge - Campaign Director of fleshandblood - told Premier's Marcus Jones on the News Hour why the Church was asked to get involved.

According to the NHS, every day 7,000 units of blood are needed to meet hospital demand, with approximately 225,000 extra blood donors needed each year to maintain consistency. More than 1,000 people die each year in the UK waiting for an organ transplant.

The Revd Dr Martyn Atkins, General Secretary of the Methodist Church, tells Premier's Marcus Jones without such generous sacrifices, many in Britain would not enjoy the health they have:

The Rt Revd James Newcome, Lead Bishop on Healthcare for the Church of England said:

"fleshandblood is an exciting opportunity for the church. Christians have a mandate to heal, motivated by compassion, mercy, knowledge and ability. 

"Extending our understanding of the central Christian themes of generosity and stewardship to include blood and organ donation has the potential to tangibly transform the giver and the receiver. 

"The benefit to others is not only life enhancing but can mean the difference between life and death.

"I would encourage individual Christians and local churches to engage with the campaign as we help address an important social issue and generously serve the communities to which we belong.  

"Being willing to give our time, money and gifts is a significant aspect of our stewardship of what we have received. 

"But this applies just as much to the blood that flows in our veins; and the organs that are such an intrinsic part of our bodies."

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