ITV announces Valentine’s week From The Heart campaign
UPDATE. Twitter hashtag #fromtheheart
During Valentine's week, ITV will launch a new campaign, From The Heart, which aims to raise awareness of organ donation and the NHS Organ Donor Register.
In a special week of activity on-air and online, ITV will highlight the shortage of donated organs in the UK; with the aim of encouraging viewers to volunteer to join the organ donor register, and to talk to their loved ones about their wishes.
Throughout the week, a range of ITV shows will explore and highlight the shortage, its implications and the reasons behind it, focus on the recipients of donor organs and how lives can be transformed, and ultimately how everyone across the country has the opportunity to make a difference, giving a gift this Valentine Day’s that could potentially transform the lives of others.
ITV’s current affairs strand Tonight will focus on organ donation, and will revisit the story of William Pope, a young man whose wait for a heart transplant was featured on the series in late 2012.
There are currently around 10,000 people in the UK who need a transplant and a thousand of them die waiting every year. Yet only 31 per cent of people have registered as donors – a much lower proportion than some other countries around the world. This Tonight special at 8pm on February 13th will examine public attitudes towards organ donation and will tell a series of personal stories of those who are on the waiting list, as well as revisiting William’s story, following his heart transplant.
Then at 9pm on February 13th, ITV will bring together a host of stars for a one-hour entertainment special, From The Heart. The show will feature a range of musical and comedy treats from the likes of Rowan Atkinson, Hugh Laurie, Pixie Lott, Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse, who will come together to pledge their support for the awareness-raising campaign.
Throughout the week Daybreak and This Morning will support the campaign, featuring case studies and personal stories, as will ITV Newsrooms across the country, who will be spotlighting on services and stories from their regions. Loose Women will also feature organ donation as one of their discussion topics during the week.
Peter Fincham, ITV’s Director of Television said:
"Text Santa last Christmas was a fantastic example of how we can use ITV, the most watched commercial channel in the UK, to highlight causes and take action to make a difference. With this campaign in February, we are again using a memorable date in the nation's calendar to raise awareness of an issue that touches many lives."
In addition to programming on-air, ITV's campaign will stretch across online platforms, including ITV.com.
A dedicated webpage www.itv.com/fromtheheart will house a range of information on organ donation, as well as a 'join the register' button to make the process of signing up easy for viewers who wish to. The campaign will be led using the hashtag #fromtheheart, where viewers can share information, and their stories, online.
ITV has worked closely with NHS Blood and Transplant - the special Health Authority responsible for the NHS Organ Donor Register and for matching and allocating organs across the UK - to develop the From The Heart campaign.
Sally Johnson, Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant said: “We are delighted that ITV have launched this campaign and hope it will encourage people to sign up and be proud to do their bit for others in agreeing to be an organ donor. One organ donor can save the lives of up to nine people. Yet, three people are dying every day waiting for an organ. Organ donation transforms and saves lives and we hope this campaign will encourage everyone to join the register and tell their loved ones about their wishes.”
About NHS Blood and Transplant:
NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) is a joint England and Wales Special Health Authority. Its remit includes the provision of a reliable, efficient supply of blood and associated services to the NHS in England and North Wales. It is also the organ donor organisation for the UK and is responsible for matching and allocating donated organs.