City students tackle organ donor shortage

Students from Dearne Valley College will sleep rough to raise awareness of homelessness
Students from Dearne Valley College will sleep rough to raise awareness of homelessness
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Students from Sheffield University took part in an Apprentice-style project, designed to raise awareness of the real-life problem of organ donor shortage.

Second-year undergraduate students, from the university’s Biomedical Science department, applied their anatomical knowledge to tackling the issue of the shortage of registered organ donors in England.

Students from Dearne Valley College will sleep rough to raise awareness of homelessness

Students from Dearne Valley College will sleep rough to raise awareness of homelessness

The students were split into small teams and each given the task of creating an effective campaign, targeted at encouraging more young people to sign the organ donor register.

Project creator, Dr Lauren Buck, said: “The students were encouraged to consider factors such as sustainability, finance and potential collaborators within their campaign and were given total creative freedom.

“The amount of effort put in has been astounding and has shown incredible sensitivity and maturity to issues such as faith, ethnicity and communicating with young adults.

“We hope that by embedding enterprise education into the anatomy curriculum, students will gain new skills and an insight into how their subject-specific knowledge can be used to communicate with the public on important issues.”

The students benefitted from expert lectures on campaign planning, target audience profiling and the creation and maintainence of mutually beneficial partnerships.

The three most innovative and impressive groups, whose work included app storyboards, postcard scratch cards and collectible t-shirts, were chosen to present their work in an Apprentice-style final lecture attended by representatives of the NHS and a local marketing team.

Student Rebecca Jones said: “We were actively encouraged to ask questions, consider anatomy in a wider context and develop skills wholly necessary both during study and beyond. Dr. Buck’s project has provided students with a valuable opportunity to obtain and develop these skills.”

The project was a joint venture between the University, The Children’s Hospital Charity, and the city’s NHS Blood and Transplant centre.