Edinburgh marks Organ and Tissue Donation Week 2023


The Capital is gearing up to celebrate Organ and Tissue Donation Week 2023 which runs from September 18-24.

This annual campaign is all about raising awareness for the ongoing need for organ donation, encouraging people to make a decision about whether they wish to opt in or out of donation, and making sure these wishes are discussed with family members.

Here in Edinburgh, in line with the UK wide campaign, we are hoping to light up the City Chambers in pink to show our support. Our colleagues at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC), will also be lighting up their building on Morrison Street.

We are also running an external social media campaign in consultation with the Scottish Government’s national campaign and the local work of NHS Lothian.

Yesterday (September 17) the ‘Transplant Tour’ began in Edinburgh. This is a charity cycle travelling down the UK to raise funds and awareness for the charity Give a Kidney. It will stop at Newcastle, Leeds, Sheffield, Manchester, Birmingham, and finish in Oxford. We have provided an official letter of support from the Lord Provost to the organisers and are supporting them and the charity with promotion.

On Friday (September 22), some Race for Recipients participants will set off from Murrayfield in Edinburgh and finish at the Kelpies in Falkirk. The race is taking place across the country, with individuals and teams racking up the kilometres through walking, wheeling, running, swimming, and other ways, to raise awareness of the importance of making a donation decision and to recognise those whose lives have been touched by organ and tissue donation.

Depute Lord Provost Lezley Marion Cameron will be at Murrayfield to meet them and wish them well as they depart. Currently there are over 800 participants registered for the Race across Scotland. 

Council Leader Cammy Day said:

“As we celebrate Organ and Tissue Donation Week 2023, we must be mindful of the fact that more than 7,000 people in the UK are currently waiting for a life-saving transplant. Only around one per cent of people die in a way that makes organ donation possible, which means every donation opportunity is precious. There are thousands of people who could be given a new lease of life by a donor, however in order to help as many people as possible we all need to play our part by registering our decisions to be a donor or opt out.

“These are conversations that need to be had amongst families, friends, colleagues, and communities as we go forward. We know that families are more likely to support donation when they already know it was what their loved one wanted. I’m encouraged by the fact that over half of people in Scotland have now registered their organ and tissue donation decision however there is still a lot of work to be done. Whatever your choice may be, the important thing is to make it and discuss it. I would urge anyone who is 16 or over and yet to join me and many others who have recorded their decision by visiting the official website. 

“Another great way to get involved is the Race for Recipients challenge. Our Depute Lord Provost Lezley Marion Cameron will be meeting some of the participants on Friday (September 22) as they head off cycling towards the Kelpies in Falkirk. Find out more and join online at their website.

“I’m proud of everything that we’re doing to mark this important week here in Edinburgh. From lighting up buildings around the city, to supporting our colleagues in government and the NHS, to lending a hand to fundraisers I’m sure this will be a week to remember.”

Published: September 18th 2023