Introducing Orgtober!20 October 2023
Initiated by the Orgamites, the only global organ donation awareness programme of its kind, Orgtober’s mission is this: to make kids everywhere more aware of their amazing organs, then get more families talking about organ donation.
In a worldwide first, Northern Ireland and Canada is set to become the first two countries to introduce ‘Orgtober’ to the school calendar in 2023 – leading the way in organ donation education and early awareness.
Orgtober, formerly known as October, will be sweeping into primary school classrooms and calendars across the country. While the normal education curriculum will not be affected, this supplementary campaign seeks to breathe new life into organ donation education by: starting earlier, getting more families talking, celebrating the fundamental values that underpin organ donation (kindness, compassion and inclusivity), and having loads of fun while doing all of this!
Initiated by the Orgamites, the only global organ donation awareness programme of its kind, Orgtober’s mission is this: to make kids everywhere more aware of their amazing organs, then get more families talking about organ donation, and thereby, increase the amount of organ donors in the long term which will ultimately save countless more lives.
Through a range of free, fun, and interactive educational toolkits and other resources that kids can take home, students learn all about their organs, as well as why and how to take better care of their bodies, and why and how kindness really counts.
“While the Orgamites’ range of toolkits have already become much-loved parts of thousands of students’ classrooms here in Canada, Greece and the UK, the launch of Orgtober is a first for the UK, one in which Northern Ireland will be leading the way: showing schools, organisations and individuals everywhere how it’s done,” says Orgamites founder, Roydon Turner. “Together, we hope to raise much-needed awareness that will ultimately raise the numbers of lives saves – both here in Northern Ireland, and globally.”
Below, Roydon answers some of the big questions that might arise:
Why is this a critical issue to highlight?
“Because too many people (especially children) die waiting for an organ. Despite the opt-in or opt-out laws, the number of families agreeing to organ donation has dipped for the first time in 8 years. The primary reason given for declining donations is families not knowing what their loved one would have wanted. One conversation can change all that. But raising these kinds of conversations is easier said than done – that’s where Orgtober comes in!”
Why talk to kids?
“The preferred and most sustainable path to organ donation starts by getting more families to have the conversation, yet for decades this logic has excluded primary or elementary school kids, until now!
From our research, parents are far more willing to participate in these conversations when they are first raised by their children, therefore capturing a considerably large and influential audience that has the power to make an impact on the present and future landscape of organ donation.
Children also tend to wait two and a half times longer than adults for organs they need – and many die waiting. In the UK, of those on waiting lists presently, over 200 are children and babies with various life-threatening conditions whose only chance of survival is an organ transplant. Though the law around organ donation has changed, families will still always be consulted.
This means that child organ donations are reliant on parents at their most anguished moments, being able to rationally process a request for their child’s organs. This is the worst possible time to first be confronted with the option of organ donation.
By having more open conversations about our mighty organs, the health of them and acts of kindness, we hope to get a lot more families talking about organ donation and sharing their choices with their loved ones – long before they ever need to.”
What is Orgtober in a nutshell?
Orgtober, formerly known as October, is now ‘Organ Donation Education Month’– a full month dedicated to promoting organ donation education among students, teachers, and families across the world (starting in Northern Ireland and Canada).
By highlighting the importance of organ donation and encouraging more people to talk to their loved ones and consider registering as organ donors, we hope to create a worldwide movement that will impact generations to come and save countless lives too.
For educational resources in Northern Ireland, please visit www.organdonationni.info
To learn more about the Orgamites, visit Orgamites.com
Source for statistics on organ donation in the UK: Independent.co.uk
 Source for above: Recent UK figures indicate that more than 1,000 people in need of an organ transplant died in 2021/22. See: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/people-nhs-blood-and-transplant-families-nhs-england-b2121844.html