Significant funding announced for a new living donor programme

We’re delighted to announce that we have been awarded significant funding for a new five-year programme around living kidney donation.

Kidney Research UK, the country’s largest kidney research charity, will join forces with the Give a Kidney team to deliver the programme. Together,
the two charities will deliver the UK-wide programme, from helping more people understand what it means to be a living donor, to supporting them throughout their donation journey.

The programme has been made possible thanks to the vision and support of businessman and philanthropist Dr David Dangoor, who has personal experience of living kidney donation, having previously donated a kidney to his brother Robert.

Kidney Research UK and Give a Kidney will also be working with NHS Blood and Transplant throughout the planning and delivery of the programme.

Worldwide, kidney diseases are the tenth most common cause of death and in the UK more than 5,000 people are currently on the waiting list for a kidney transplant, which equates to over three quarters of people waiting for a transplant. Despite ongoing work to encourage kidney donation from both living and deceased donors, around six people still die each week waiting for a transplant.

Bob Wiggins, Chair and Trustee of Give a Kidney, said: “This is a milestone moment for Give a Kidney and one which is the culmination of much of the work undertaken over the past years by ourselves and our previous staff and trustees. This programme will allow us to amplify much of the work we already do to raise awareness and support potential donors, but with significantly increased resources behind it and will also give us the opportunity to take a significant step forward with new activity. We are thrilled to be working in partnership with Kidney Research UK who bring a wealth of expertise, knowledge and skill to the new programme.”

Dr Dangoor, who is known for his philanthropy in areas including education and health, said: “The growing rate of kidney disease here in the UK and across the world means that every day, lives are lost to this awful condition. Having donated a kidney to my brother, I know first-hand that it is perfectly possible to do this and to carry on living a normal life. Through this campaign, I hope that more people are able to learn about the possibilities of living donation and may be inspired to take that step and change the life of someone living with kidney disease. Our ultimate vision is that no one should die waiting for a kidney.”

Sandra Currie, Chief Executive of Kidney Research UK said: “Donating a kidney is literally giving someone the gift of life and many people may still not be aware that they could donate a kidney to a loved one or a stranger and carry on living a normal life. We are committed to driving progress in kidney health in the UK and to transforming treatments for patients, and receiving a kidney donation transforms the life of the recipient. We know that an increase in the number of living donors coming forward could make a lifesaving difference to kidney patients across the UK, and significantly reduce the waiting time for many. We are all so grateful to Dr Dangoor for making this campaign possible.”

Work is now underway to develop the programme, and new resources for donors, in collaboration with key stakeholders and the wider donation and transplantation community.