Lunch with the Mayor of Brighton

Our Antarctic trip has taken us to unexpected places, like Brighton Town Hall on a very windy Wednesday lunchtime. “Would you like to have lunch with the Mayor of Brighton?” read the email from Anna of The Transplant Trust. “Oh, and by the way, would you mind giving your talk?” Sure we would. Now, I don’t need much of an excuse to go to Brighton, but helping launch National Transplant Week activities is a pretty good one.

The Town Hall in Brighton is finer than most town halls I’ve seen, an imposing (Victorian?) building, and the Counsellors’ Chambers were grand without been ornate. A good place to meet Councillor Garry Peltzer Dunn, Mayor of the City of Brighton and Hove, Angela Walledge Trustee of the Transplant Trust, and invitees from prominent Brighton businesses, all come to hear what National Transplant week is going to be about in 2009.

The Mayor Signs Up

The Mayor Signs Up

Apparently, the Government has a target of getting 25 million people on the organ donor register by 2013. There are currently 16 million. As Mayor Peltzer Dunn observed, 9 million people more in four years is a very big ask. So why not push for an “opt out” scheme, as invitee Mohan Rasanayagam asked, rather intelligently, I thought. If Spain can do it… According to Angela, it would simply be a waste of organs – the UK simply does not have the resources or infrastructure to retrieve and distribute organs. If we don’t reach those targets the simple fact is more people will die waiting for an organ. And that will mean two lives lost in vain. I can’t say too often how lucky we feel that Cim had her kidney donated by her brother.

Our talk, then is the “happy ending” part of proceedings. We aim to encourage signing up to the register and also live kidney donation. And I think it works because people see that a transplant has made a tangible difference in Cim’s life (and mine, come to that). Cim says that doing these talks and raising awareness is her way of repaying her gift.

Adjournment to the Mayor’s Parlour for light refreshments, it says on the agenda. It’s splendid – and so are the sandwiches and cakes, to be mercenary for a moment. It’s a chance for us to socialise with the invitees and pose for photos. We talk to Mohan again, who it turns out works for Epic, an online training company. It gives me the idea about that we could broaden our networking through potential sponosrs’ networks. We get visitors to our website and promote the Transplant Trust. The companies get seen by our visitors.

Posing with the Mayor

Posing with the Mayor

Susan Foster, partner of Knill James accountants knows a lot about sponsorhip. They sponsor Lewes Rugby Club and that gets her to see England vs Scotland and Murrayfield. So she’s well aware of the returns that sponsorship can bring. The Transplant Trust on the face of it, is a more altruistic choice. But need it be? Isn’t it ok to get something back? We’ve got to use what we’ve got and exchange it for what we haven’t. I’ll come and do you a corporate whisky tasting. I’m sure we can come to some arrangement.

Sounds like a win-win to me.

Photos courtesy and copyright Tony Mould, http://www.mybrightonandhove.org.uk

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3 Responses

  1. Hey there,

    Fabulous stuff both of you…

    Did you know Crispin used to work for Epic?

    Lynfa x

  2. I wish I could sign up to be a donor, but I’ve asked &, unfortunately, they just don’t want my organs. Too many medical problems of my own I guess! I can’t even give blood.

    Good luck, Annette x

    • Thanks Annette! Thanks for even thinking about it. I know not everybody can donate blood, or be a live donor, but I’ve not heard about a refusal to be on the register. Lots of questions about donation are answered here. I’ll look into it.
      /Jerry

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