News

Spreading the Word…

We can’t believe another month has gone by already… but what a month it’s been!

With the Shooting Fish gig and the Plymouth Raiders game both in the same week, it’s a good job we like being busy! Both nights were a great success and the iLIVEiGIVE message was spread far and wide. We got the chance to meet lots of new people, which is one of the best parts of our job! It’s so worthwhile as a team when we’re able to engage with people that may never have considered organ donation before and are as eager to find out more about the subject as we are to tell them about it! We’re not here to pressure people into signing up to the register but to better inform people in order that they make the best decision for them.

The gig at Mama Stones was fantastic – Suzy Bennett was (of course) hilarious and had people howling with laughter that was so loud you could hear it from the street outside! Her funny anecdotes (mostly at the expense of her poor mum!) warmed up the crowd nicely and prepared them to welcome the band on stage. The iLIVEiGIVE team would like to say a huge thank you to Suzy for coming all the way from London to compère the evening.

Which brings us on to the band themselves, with excellent covers of songs by groups like the Kaiser Chiefs and Ash, the guys in Shooting Fish got the crowd buzzing and ready for the weekend (even though it was only Thursday!). Thank you so much to the band and also to Mama Stones for hosting the night and helping us spread the message about the importance of organ donation.

The Raiders game was another great night with the focus very much on celebrating life post-transplant as one of the Raiders’ table officials, Joe Peard, received a heart transplant this Summer. Joe, who also received the award for ‘England Basketball Table Official Of the Year’ that evening, joined the team in supporting iLIVEiGIVE as a platform through which organ donation has been brought to attention in the wider public sphere. Although we started as a campaign in the South West, we have be able to reach many people throughout the country and along with many other organisations are helping give the subject of organ donation more and more prominence.

Plymouth Raiders

The team looked amazing in their exclusive iLIVEiGIVE kits and we would like to wish them continued success after their amazing win on the night! Thank you to the Plymouth Raiders Chief Executive, Dave Briggs, for all his hard work in making the night happen.

All systems go!

Shooting Fish posterWith tickets now on sale for the Shooting Fish gig on 28th November, it’s all systems go in terms of getting the word out there! The team are so excited about the night and can’t wait to see lots of people there – it’s not very often we get to hold events and this is a great opportunity to raise awareness and have lots of fun in the process! It would be lovely to meet some of you in person, so if you live in, or around Exeter, come on down! Tickets are £4 and available via www.fatsoma.com/events/97240/ – it’s going to be a great night and all in the aid of a good cause so why not start the weekend a little bit early?

Also happening at the end of November is the Plymouth Raiders basketball match in aid of iLIVEiGIVE. The Raiders will be wearing exclusive iLIVEiGIVE tops to warm up in before the match and we’re really thrilled and thankful that they are helping us spread the word. There will be over 1000 people at the match and the campaign is sure to create somewhat of a buzz as we spread the iLIVE iGIVE word even further. The game will take place at Plymouth Pavilions and tickets are available here: www.plymouthpavilions.com/prod-productions_details.asp?pid=815. There will also be an iLIVEiGIVE stand at the game, so why not pop by and say hello – we’re a friendly bunch!

We’d like to say a big thank you to the guys in Shooting Fish for agreeing to play in aid of iLIVEiGIVE and also to Dave Briggs who has been so proactive in organising the iLIVEiGIVE/Plymouth Raiders collaboration. It’s so great working with people who are as passionate about spreading the word as we are!

We’ve got lots more exciting things in the pipeline as we explore new ways of spreading the iLIVEiGIVE word and continue to raise awareness about the importance of organ donation – keep and eye on our Facebook/Twitter for more information.

Thank you…

The iLIVEiGIVE team is dedicated to raising awareness and encouraging people to sign up to the organ donor register, but more than this we hope that we bring people together who all share this same passion. We want to get people talking, not only to loved ones, family and friends but also to other people who are striving towards these same goals – we are so lucky that we have such a strong network of people so willing to help us do this.

We have been overwhelmed by people’s support ever since the campaign started, and more so than ever just recently; we are so thankful to everyone that supports us – you never cease to amaze us with the efforts you go to, not only when spreading the iLIVEiGIVE message but also when sharing the importance of organ donation with others. The team have all been really touched by the messages we’ve received lately (some of which even made us a bit teary!) and we’d like to say thank you to everyone for your kind words. Without you all, we wouldn’t keep reaching new heights in our quest to raise awareness and, let’s face it, we wouldn’t have quite as much fun!

The iLIVEiGIVE team have been as busy as ever over the last month, between putting on various exhibitions and presentations we have also had quite a few interesting discussions with other organisations about the possibility of collaborating on potential projects – iLIVEiGIVE are taking over, watch out world! Maree presented at the NHSBT Organ Donation Congress at The University of Warwick and Jo, Amy and Milly showed off everything we do here at iLIVEiGIVE for the Annual Member’s Meeting at Torbay Hospital – the response to both has been extremely positive and it’s great to have the chance to speak to a wider audience about organ donation, particularly those that may not have ever thought about it before!

Becky Langley, Sharon Pike, Nicky Eastley, Zoe Woodall, Carol Glover, Julie Al-Mashoor, Laura walmsley, Dawn Miller and Jo Mcilhatton

We’ve also received an influx of great t-shirt photos recently, with people travelling to far and distant lands and taking the iLIVEiGIVE message with them. In particular we would like to say a huge thank you to the following ladies: Becky Langley, Sharon Pike, Nicky Eastley, Zoe Woodall, Carol Glover, Julie Al-Mashoor, Laura Walmsley, Dawn Miller and Jo Mcilhatton who have done fantastic work spreading the message whilst on their annual girls trip to Butlins. The group have been raising awareness in memory of their friend Sarah Wright who sadly lost her fight with lung disease whilst waiting for a transplant. Sarah’s organs were donated and saved the lives of three people: what a legacy to leave, and one that her friends and family are doing an amazing job of honouring. People were so interested in the group whilst they were wearing their t-shirts that they had people sign up to the organ donor register there and then by scanning the backs of the shirts – this is amazing and really shows that by working together we are all making a real difference! The iLIVEiGIVE team were thrilled to hear how much of an impact the girls made and can’t wait to hear about their next trip!

Looking forward, the team are gearing up for the Shooting Fish gig at Mama Stones on 28th November, with tickets due to go on sale soon. The evening looks set to be a great one with award-winning comedienne Suzy Bennett compering the evening. As well as this, we also have our collaboration with the Plymouth raiders basketball team to look forward to on November 30th! Contact us for more information and keep an eye on our Facebook page for details about tickets.

Toby’s Gift

Another busy month for the iLIVEiGIVE team! With the British Transplant Games having taken place earlier in the month, we were inundated once more with a high demand for t-shirts. People that weren’t aware of them before the Games definitely were afterwards and we have been amazed once again by the amount of requests we received. This is fantastic news; people are so enthusiastic about spreading the iLIVEiGIVE message and our t-shirts are an integral way of getting our voice heard. It is really exciting that the campaign has had such an impact, encouraging more and more people to not only talk about organ donation, but to actively get out there and promote this important cause!

We’d like to than everyone that has already offered to donate towards the t-shirts: these donations will become more vital than ever if we are to develop iLIVEiGIVE even further. They will give us the opportunity to expand and move forward with the campaign, (and eventually the charity) enabling us to spread the word through different channels and of course to order more t-shirts! iLIVEiGIVE is starting to receive more and more international support from countries such as America and Australia and we couldn’t be more thrilled.

Our fleet of Gregory’s lorries is slowly growing and we have another lorry featuring Lottie all ready to go and hope to add a few more around the country in the coming months, including the North of England, the Midlands and the South East. We’re so excited about this project and would like to say a special thank you to Darren Beaven, Business Unit Director, at Gregory Distribution for being so proactive in making this happen!

As we continue to expand, something we’re really keen to do is establish links with other organ donation organisations/charities as a way of promoting everyone’s work and rooting ourselves within a strong foundation of influential voices. There are so many people out there who are doing so many incredible things to promote organ donation and we’re really excited to be considered so highly among them. We have had some interesting conversations with people from Transplant 2013 and Transplant Sport this month and it’s really refreshing to hear how other people work to promote organ donation as well as discussing the possibility of working together in the future.

Chris Skydive

The Toby’s Gift skydive finally happened this month after several previous attempts had to be postponed due to bad weather and we’d like to say a massive well done to all those that jumped, in particular Chris, part of the iLIVEiGIVE family, who was invited by the Hart family to take part in this special day. The skydive was arranged in memory of Toby Hart who sadly passed away last summer at the age of sixteen. Toby had previously discussed his wishes regarding organ donation with his family and he was able to save four lives by donating his organs. His family have since set up a charity in order to raise awareness about the importance of organ donation and to help raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. Just like iLIVEiGIVE, Toby’s family are eager to encourage others to discuss their wishes regarding organ donation with loved ones; talking about it now will help save lives in the future.

You can make a donation in Toby’s name towards the Cystic Fibrosis Trust via the Hart family’s just giving page – http://www.justgiving.com/graham-hart3.

2013 British Transplant Games

A lot of iLIVEiGIVE supporters took part in the British Transplant Games this month in Sheffield and we have received lots of great photos of people wearing their t-shirts with pride whilst at the games. The closest transplant team to us are from Plymouth and they made the trip up North to compete and managed to achieve some amazing results – Janet Jenkins, the Plymouth Transplant Games manager has sent us an account of her team’s experiences of the games and we’d like to say a big well done to everyone involved.

2013 British Transplant Games

On Monday the team travelled back from Sheffield and this year’s games was really good, even the Gala Dinner!

I know some of you followed the team’s progress on our Facebook page (Plymouth Transplant Games Team) but below are a few details of our time at the BTG:

Wednesday
Left Plymouth around midday to travel to Sheffield and our three drivers were Terry, John & Keith and thank them very much for driving the team around.
The team helped Jon Ritchie, a liver transplantee who lives in Plymouth, where he attends Derriford for his TX clinic appointments by travelling with us to Sheffield. Jon competed and did very well for Kings Team by bringing home gold in the 5K Walk and silver in the 1500m Track. Jon also entered the 400m & 4×100 Track relay.

After a couple of stops and a very nice meal on route, we arrived in Sheffield and spent the rest of the evening in the hotel.

Thursday
John Wollington played in a cricket tournament which ran alongside the BTG – North versus South – this ended up being a very close game indeed but the North were the eventual winners.
Derek & Janis attended the golf practice at Tinsley Park and enjoyed a hot sunny day on the course. Janis was Derek’s Caddy for the practice and competition and deserves a medal.
The rest of the team ventured to the English Institute of Sport (EIS) for team registration.
At the EIS in the afternoon, Tony competed in the Archery and gained silver.
Opening Ceremony was held in Sheffield and there were lots of Harry Hills walking in Plymouth Team uniforms, except John Wollington!!!

Friday
Morning at the EIS three team members, Tony, John and Terry played table tennis and Terry came away with a bronze.
In the afternoon was the ten-pin bowling and Janet got a gold and John, with his first attempt at this event gained a bronze.
An all-day event at Tinsley Park for Derek and his Caddy, Janis, who competed in the golf while Terry gave the 5k Walk a go and very sensibly did retire from the race.

In the evening, we met up with Stuart and Hannah who drove up from Bristol and we had our team meal and celebrated my birthday and thank you to everyone for a brilliant birthday!

Saturday
At Ponds Forge in Sheffield the Badminton took place and although Tony’s original men’s doubles partner was unable to attend the games, he played with a new partner and finished with a bronze medal.
Also at the same venue, was the swimming and after a 6 year gap Janet swam two races gaining silver medals and also became an honorary member of the visiting Australian team in the swim relay which won a gold.
John Wollington event was Crown Green Bowls and although a flat green bowler in Plymouth, he never played this type of bowls before and gained a bronze.

In the evening the whole team returned to Owlerton Stadium to watch dog racing. In 2008 when the last games were held in Sheffield we went to this venue. PLEASE SEE ATTACHED PHOTO. We all wore “iLIVEiGIVE” t-shirts to promote this South West locally run group.

Sunday
A day of athletics and where the children and adults compete beside each other – the emotion you feel never fails when watching the children running and competing.
This event will be one of the last ever to be held at the Don Valley Stadium and majority of the team were in action.
Terry entered the Long Jump and gained a silver.
Keith brought home 3 silvers in the 100m, 200m Track and Long Jump plus 2 bronze medals in the Javelin and Ball Throw.
Stuart House gained silvers in Discus & Shot Putt and also entered the Javelin, 100m & 200m Track.
John Wollington entered in the Discus & Javelin but only just missed out on medals.
Janet gained gold’s in Discus & Shot Putt but admit the competition was easier this year for her in these events.

Thanks to Stuart and Hannah for organising the team picnic at the athletics – this really helps the athletes and the supporters as it’s such a full day of competition.

In the evening was the Gala Dinner held at Ponds Forge and this year the meal was very good, the speeches and presentations was very well organised so everyone had a chance to dance to late. Even the ‘chicken’ made an appearance this year – many previous BTG attendees will remember the ‘chicken’!!!

Monday
Our team drivers brought us home after a wonderful 4 days of competition and celebration of what organ donation can achieve and meeting up with other fellow transplantee’s.

The medals total for the South West (Plymouth) Transplant Team was 4 Gold, 9 Silver and 6 Bronze, as Team Manager I’m very proud of every single team member – you are all winners before we even get to the games – and hope that you all enjoyed your time in Sheffield.

I have not yet mentioned one other member of the 2013 team, Claire West, as a supporter and deputy team manager who has attended (I believe) 16 games now –– I want to personally thank her for all her support throughout the 2013 games, keeping the Facebook page updated and being there cheering us on – we all appreciate it.

I’m now starting to organise next year’s games being held in Bolton (Manchester) – 7th August to 10th August – and really hope that you would like to join us in 2014.

Lottie’s Lorry

We really enjoyed seeing the efforts everyone has gone to over Transplant Week to raise awareness about the importance of organ donation – whether it was by holding events, through sporting endeavours or simply by wearing your iLIVEiGIVE t-shirt – you have all made a difference and will certainly have encouraged people to sign up to the donor register. We’d like to say a huge well done to Steve Gazzard for his efforts in encouraging 120 more people to sign up during the week – a fantastic effort that will save so many more lives.

With Transplant Week over we started to look forward to our next project. Working with the very talented graphic designer Andrew Nadolski and the amazing people over at Gregory Distribution we were given the opportunity to really get the message out there. Andrew came up with some fantastic artwork to promote the importance of organ donation and the guys over at Gregory’s gave us the means by allowing us to use one of their lorry’s to display it – what an innovative way to engage people’s attention!

The artwork features Lottie, the youngest person ever to survive a liver transplant at just five weeks old with as well as a little message from her (her dad!). Now a happy, healthy two year old, her smiling face is out there for everyone to see – it was so exciting to watch as she saw herself for the first time on the back of the lorry! Everyone was so impressed and we’d like to say a big thank you again to everyone that made this happen – can you think of anything better to look at when you’re stuck in a traffic jam?

Lottie and Gregory's Lorry

This not only means we are able to reach a wider audience with our campaign but also allows Lottie’s story to be shared throughout the country. We hope that in the future we are able to commandeer more of Gregory’s lorries and use them to share other people’s stories – imagine a whole fleet of lorries with different people on the back of them! What made this even more exciting was the fact that the local news covered the big unveiling and so people throughout the West Country got to share this wonderful moment – see the full news story.

Let us know if you see Lottie’s Lorry it driving around!

Transplant Week

Transplant Week logoAnother month whizzes by in a whirlwind of t-shirt orders and transplant week preparations! Luckily we love to keep busy and that is exactly what the past couple of weeks have been. We’re amazed at the demand for iLIVE iGIVE t-shirts as popularity continues to grow through word of mouth and we’re so excited that people are so eager to spread the iLIVE iGIVE message – we’ve enjoyed seeing everyone’s photos so keep them coming! T-shirts are flying out as fast as we are receiving them and we were thrilled to see the GB transplant team supporting iLIVE iGIVE by wearing their t-shirts. Good luck to everyone competing in the World Transplant Games in South Africa later this month! The World Transplant Games are held from 28th July to 4th August.

With transplant week coming up we have been running around trying to get everything organised for the display of transplant stories we are exhibiting in our local hospital – we’ve got an inspiring mix of stories from transplant recipients, living donor’s and family members that really help to paint a picture of the whole transplant journey. We have enjoyed reading them and appreciate everyone who has kindly allowed us to share them – undoubtedly this will inspire more people to sign up to the organ donor register. Keep an eye out for lots of exciting events happening throughout transplant week all over the country. Steve Gazzard is organising a variety of things throughout the week which will build up to a big event on 13th July in Exmouth – we can’t wait to see all the photos from everyone involved!

Looking forward, we’re starting to investigate registering as a charity; (it would be useful if there were a few more hours in the day!) this will ultimately help us expand our work as well as enabling us to receive some financial support that we can put towards developing even further. Lots of people have very kindly offered to make donations and once we are a registered charity this will hopefully be possible. We have also had the artwork back for an iLIVE iGIVE design to be featured on one Gregory’s lorries – if you live locally keep an eye out! The design features a picture of Lottie, the youngest person ever to receive a liver transplant, and is sure to capture people’s hearts and persuade them to sign up.

Thank you so much for your continued support: if everyone works together think of the amazing things we can achieve!