New Horizons in British Islam is joining the campaign to address the urgent need for more lifesaving organ donors from Muslim communities.
We successfully bid for funding to carry out a project to break down myths and increase support for donation, and ensure that people know that the law in England is changing next spring and understand their choices.
New Horizons is among 26 faith and community-based organisations to have secured funding to educate communities about donation after death through the BAME Community Investment Scheme led by NHS Blood and Transplant.
The scheme is part of a Government-funded campaign to address the critical shortage of organ donors from black, Asian, mixed race and minority ethnic backgrounds.
A spokesman for New Horizons said:
“Our project is about ensuring Muslim communities are aware about what Islamic texts actually say about this issue. There are a lot of questions that need to be answered. There are some myths that need busting. And there are a few misunderstandings that need explaining. We hope to do this through talks we have planned at the British Islam Conference (Feb 2020), videos we’ll be producing during Ramadan and an ambitious new website which breaks down the subject."
As well as promoting donation, the project will have an important role to play in building awareness and understanding of the upcoming law change as well as ensuring that people make their donation decision upon the facts.
From spring 2020 all adults in England will be considered as having agreed to donate their organs when they die unless they record a decision not to donate, known as ‘opt out’, or are in one of the groups not covered by the new law.
An opt out system for organ donation was introduced in Wales in December 2015 and in Jersey in July this year and will also be introduced in Scotland in autumn 2020. Families will still always be involved in organ donation, so it is vital that they know your choice.
The Community Investment Scheme was open to any faith or community-based organisation working within black, Asian, mixed race and minority ethnic communities in England and Wales.
Organisations were invited to bid by outlining how their project could positively engage their community in organ donation. All applications were reviewed by an independent judging panel. This is the second round of the scheme.
Millie Banerjee, Chairman of NHS Blood and Transplant, said:
“We know that trusted, community-led or local organisations can make a real difference in dispelling myths, overcoming barriers and changing attitudes to organ donation.
“The projects from New Horizons and other organisations funded under this round of the scheme will build on the inspiring work of the round one projects, bringing a positive organ donation message to an even broader spectrum of faiths and communities.
“This passion for saving lives will, I hope, encourage more people from black, Asian, mixed race and minority ethnic backgrounds to decide they want to be an organ donor and share that decision with their families.”