Actor Wil Johnson joins forces with transplant patients

Actor Wil Johnson joins forces with transplant patients in new TV Campaign to encourage more Black donors

Established actor, Wil Johnson has joined forces with NHS Blood and Transplant to lend further support to a new campaign designed to increase the number of people from BME communities on the NHS Organ Donor Register.

The actor features alongside patients with first-hand experience of organ donation and transplantation to create a series of powerful and informative television commercials for both the African-Caribbean and the South Asian community. In his capacity as campaign ambassador, Wil highlights the key facts and statistics surrounding organ donation within the Asian and Black communities, whilst the patients bring these statistics to life through their own personal experiences.

Best known for his role in Waking the Dead, Wil Johnson says:

I strongly believe that more people from our community need to join the organ donor register. It is a campaign which needs to be acknowledged by everyone, which is why I was very keen to help raise awareness in our community and feature in the television commercials.

The television commercials also showcase real life case studies that have been affected by organ donation, both successful transplant patients and those still waiting for a life-changing transplant.

44 year old, Taibat Bello has been waiting for a kidney transplant since 2005 Taibat is very passionate about promoting organ donation within her community. Speaking about the commercial she says,

I feel that if the education about organ donation was improved for the Black and South Asian communities then people might be more willing to sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register. We need to overcome the misconceptions and myths surrounding the issue of organ donation. If we address peoples fears we can increase the number of organs available for transplantation.

The campaign highlights that people from the South Asian and Black communities living in the UK are three times more likely to need a kidney transplant but just 0.4% of people who have joined the NHS Organ Donor Register are from the Black community. Due to the shortage of compatible donors, South Asian and Black patients on average have to wait nearly twice as long as a white person for an organ to become available.

Make sure you look out for these television commercials which will be airing from Monday 8th March.

If you believe in organ donation, prove it

Register now at or call 0300 123 23 23

For further information please contact Media Moguls on 020 8902 5575 or:

Hasiba Rehman 07772 954 407

Natasha Unalkat 07939 504 273

Akriti Farmahan 07745 953 644

Leila Molaei 07728 687 517

Facts about Organ Donation:

1. There are currently more than 16.9 million people on the NHS Organ Donor Register, but only 1.2% of these are from the Asian community and 0.4% of these from Black communities.

2. There are currently 1521 South Asians and 779 members of the Black community who are in need of a transplant

3. NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) is a Special Health Authority in the NHS. It is the organ donation organisation for the UK, with responsibility for matching and allocating donated organs. Its remit also includes the provision of a safe, sufficient supply of blood and associated services to the NHS.

4. The NHS Organ Donor Register records the details of people who have registered their wishes to donate organs and/or tissue after their death for transplantation. This information is used by authorised medical staff to establish whether a person wanted to donate.

5. Its simple to join the ODR by:

* going to
* ringing 0300 123 23 23
* texting REGISTER to 84880

6. Anyone can register on the ODR. Age isnt a barrier to being an organ or tissue donor and neither are most medical conditions. People in their 70s and 80s have become donors and saved many lives.

7. One donor can save or transform up to 9 lives and many more can be helped through the donation of tissues.

8. There are currently 7,936 people in the UK on the active waiting list for an organ transplant. This figure changes constantly as people join and leave the transplant list. A further 2,577 people are on the suspended list because they are too ill or unable to receive a transplant at present. This brings the current total needing an organ transplant in the UK to 10,513.

9. Last year (2008/09), 3513 organ transplants were carried out in the UK, thanks to the generosity of 1853 deceased and living donors ? the highest on record.

10. The BME Campaign will be visiting the following areas over the forthcoming weeks:

  • London
  • Coventry
  • Leicester
  • Birmingham
  • Manchester
  • Leeds

A full calendar of dates and events will be available on

11. The television commercials will be aired on the following channels;

  • Ben TV
  • OBE
  • OH TV

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