Kenilworth and Leamington funeral directors give gift of life by becoming blood donors

From left to right: Henry Ison & Sons Garry Hughes, Darren Naylor, Elizabeth Armstrong, Karen Pattenden, Kevin Register and Paul Atkinson have become organ and blood donors
From left to right: Henry Ison & Sons Garry Hughes, Darren Naylor, Elizabeth Armstrong, Karen Pattenden, Kevin Register and Paul Atkinson have become organ and blood donors

A Warwickshire funeral directors has given the gift of life through the NHS organ and blood donor programme.

A funeral directors based in five branches across Warwickshire, including Kenilworth has seen every member of its staff become organ and blood donors.

Henry Ison & Sons Funeral Directors encouraged all staff members across its five branches in Coventry, Kenilworth and Leamington to register as organ and blood donors.

New legislation in 2020 will consider every adult in England an organ donor upon death unless they opt out.

Paul Atkinson, funeral arranger at Henry Ison & Sons, said: “Working in the funeral industry, we see desperate sadness from some families whose loved ones could have benefited from the generosity of individuals who become donors in the UK.

“A simple act of kindness like signing the organ and blood donor register could make a massive difference to somebody’s life.

“No staff member hesitated when we recommended joining the NHS Organ Donor Register before the law changes in 2020. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t make this decision and have the conversation now.”

All 10 staff members across Henry Ison & Sons went a step further by registering as blood donors as well as organ donors.

With the help of NHS Blood and Transplant, pink window displays were erected in every branch to encourage passers-by to do the same.

Karen Healy, senior case studies and communications officer at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “Every day thousands of people’s lives are saved or improved thanks to the generosity of both blood and organ donors like the staff at Henry Ison & Son Funeral Directors, who we are very grateful to.

“Organ donation is, and always will be, a precious gift. And although the law is changing around 2020, it will still come down to the generosity of individuals and their families who make the decision to support organ donation.”

Paul hopes his branch’s commitment will help people come to a decision ahead of the law around organ donation changing next year.

Paul added: “We need more people to sign up to be blood and organ donors as it’s important to help others in their time of need. It’s easy to do and you could be a hero – as they say, not all superheroes wear capes.”

Karen added: “We hope with the awareness raised by businesses like Henry Ison & Sons Funeral Directors more people will be encouraged to discuss organ donations and share it with their family.”

To find out more about organ donation, the law change, or to opt in or out, visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk