After Birmingham received the Donor City Award from Daily Mirror Editor Alison Phillips and Parliamentary Under-Secretary Jackie Doyle-Price during the Westfield Health British Transplant Games 2018 closing ceremony on Sunday 5 August, the University of Birmingham was awarded the nation’s first ever Donor Campus status, which signifies the commitment the University and the city have to increasing sign ups to the NHS Organ Donor Register. The University will promote the NHS Organ Donor Register and issues around organ transplantation to staff, students and alumni for the next two years – as Birmingham currently has the second lowest number of organ donors, second only to London.
This award follows the resounding success of the 10th edition of the Westfield Health British Transplant Games, which was held last weekend (2-5 August 2018). Kicking off proceedings was the Opening Ceremony and as 724 competitors gathered in Birmingham’s Symphony Hall, the Guinness World Record for the Largest Gathering of Organ Transplant Recipients was broken, beating the previous total of 438.
With thousands of people descending on the city, hundreds of competitors winning medals and the exciting announcements of both the Donor City and the new system of consent for organ donation, the weekend was a resounding success. A total of 4,211 medals were given out, including 2,000 for taking part in the biggest Donor Run to date, an event open for families, friends, supporters and donor families as well as transplant recipients.
The University of Birmingham hosted a massive 75% of the Games events on campus, making it the biggest multi-sport event that has been hosted in the new £55m Sport & Fitness Club, which opened last year. From archery to netball, swimming to obstacle courses, the Games was an overwhelming success, topped off by a fantastic atmosphere in and around campus – as the majority of the competitors and their families were staying in the Vale Village, the student accommodation on campus.