CROWDS of people have Signed Up To Save Lives as the NHS appealed for organ donors in Victoria Square.

Doctors and staff from New Start, a charity based in the Transplant Unit at Wythenshawe Hospital, set up base outside the town hall between 10am and 4pm yesterday.

They were in Bolton as part of National Transplant Week, which runs until July 13, and were joined by those who had successfully had transplants.

About 50 to 60 new donors signed up in Victoria Square yesterday, with a key message for organ donors to tell relatives they have signed the register to avoid grieving families overriding the decision.

The Bolton News is campaigning ahead of August’s Transplant Games in the town to get 5,000 extra people to sign the organ donor register.

Dr Lorraine Clinton, chairman of the organ donation committee at Wythenshawe, said: “If any of us had somebody we loved needing an organ to live, we’d find it shocking that organs that would save their life are not being used.

“I know of a man who had a stroke last year and died in his 40s and his organs were used to save four people. That gave his family great comfort.

“We want to raise awareness with a variety of religious groups and ethnicities to ensure that everybody has the best chance possible of living longer.”

About 580,000 people die in the UK every year, but only 1,200 are organ donors after death.

Janice Taylor, manager of New Start, said: “It has been really positive and most people have been open to organ donation.

“It’s good that so many members of the Asian community have taken away the leaflets, as Asian people are currently three times more likely to die waiting for an organ transplant.

“In two hours this morning we’ve had more people come over than all day in Manchester. Thanks to Bolton people for their support.”

To Sign Up to Save Lives, go to the NHS organ donor register, call 0300 1232323 or text SAVE to 62323.