National memorial to celebrate organ donors unveiled in Staffordshire

The National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire Credit: PA

A national memorial paying tribute to people who have donated their organs is to be unveiled.

The memorial, which is dedicated to the tens of thousands of organ and tissue donors across the UK, is to be officially opened by the Duke of Gloucester at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

The Gift of Life Memorial is dedicated to those who have "saved andtransformed" the lives of others, NHS Blood and Transplant said.

Among those attending the unveiling ceremony will be organ donors, recipients and the families of donors.The family of donor Keith Buckley, a retired fire officer who died in December, said the memorial was a "fitting tribute".

Mr Buckley, 74, died after suffering a serious head injury after falling off aladder while putting up Christmas lights at his home in Nottingham.

Keith Buckley donated his organs after he died

It's like he is living on, his legacy is still out there. It has helped us knowing that other people have benefited from Dad's gift. It means something positive and good has come of out such a tragedy.

Jane Stubbs, Keith's daughter

The sculpture is inspired by the logo of the charity behind the memorial, theDonor Family Network. The charity provides support to organ and tissue donor families and promotes organ and tissue donation.

The arboretum is home to more than 300 separate memorials Credit: ITV News Central

The memorial, a colourful mosaic butterfly on top of a forget-me-not flower on a bronze base which bears the words "Reflection, Recognition, Remembrance", was designed by Birmingham artist Julia Hennessy-Priest.

We hope that this is a place where donor families can proudly remember the amazing gift their loved one made as well as a place that people whose lives have been saved by donors can pay tribute to the stranger who helped them."

David Nix, Chairman of the Donor Family Network