HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis and County Priory Group Chairman of St John Bedfordshire, Anthony Duggan OBE with guests, including the High Sheriff of Bedfordshire Meryl Dolling, at the Donor Awards Ceremony at Cranfield University Image: Central Bedfordshire Council

Annual awards ceremony’s sixth year

On Tuesday 30 April 2019, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Helen Nellis attended the Order of St John Organ Donor Award Ceremony at Cranfield University.

Now in its sixth year, the annual awards ceremony is held in Bedfordshire to recognise and give thanks to the families of deceased organ donors in acknowledgement of their generosity in giving others a chance of life and to inspire other families who are facing this difficult decision to donate their loved one’s organs.

Families of organ donors were presented with badges and certificates. They were also thanked by the Lord-Lieutenant for the gift of life that they had given by carrying out their loved one’s final wishes.

Speaking after the Donor Awards Ceremony, the Lord-Lieutenant said:

“It is always a privilege to recognise the generous and selfless act of people who, in the midst of tragedy, find the courage and compassion to donate the organs of their loved ones for the benefit of others.

“In their darkest hour, they have given the gift of light and life to another family. My sincere respect and thanks to all the families and to the dignified and caring professionals who support them through this journey.”

The ceremony was organised by Anthony Duggan OBE, the County Priory Group Chairman of St John, Bedfordshire in conjunction with the NHS. He said:

“The Order of St John continues its close working relationship with NHS Blood & Transplant to run the Organ Donor Ceremonies annually in all counties in England.

“This year, in Bedfordshire, we welcomed nine families to the ceremony to confirm our gratitude and support for organ donation. The badge presented to the families displays the motto Add Life – Give Hope.”

Guests present at the ceremony included the High Sheriff of Bedfordshire, County Priory Group members, representatives and staff from the NHS and the families of organ donors.

The Lord-Lieutenant was supported at the ceremony by her Lord-Lieutenant Cadet, Corporal Alissa Morgan, from St John Ambulance.