The 2023 Organ Donor Awards took place last month, honouring individuals who have given the priceless gift of life through organ donation.
The awards are held throughout the UK and are run by the regional St John Priories in conjunction with their partner Organ Donation Team, who are part of NHS Blood and Transplant. The Welsh Organ Donor Awards took place at Cornerstone in Cardiff to honour donors from across Wales and the English borders.
St John Ambulance Cymru have been running the awards with the South Wales Organ Donation Team for the last ten years.
The awards were created to recognise the selfless contribution that organ donors and their families have made to help others. The award, in the form of a pin and citation, is given to the family of the donor, to honour their loved one.
Interim CEO of St John Ambulance Cymru, Andy Jones, hosted the ceremony and Sir Paul Williams, OBE, KStJ, DL, the Prior for Wales along with Mrs Morfudd Meredith, CStJ HM Lord Lieutenant of South Glamorgan presented the awards to the families of 29 people.
Members of the South Wales Organ Donation Team and Reverend Jason Tugwell also spoke atthe ceremony, with touching poems and tributes to commemorate the 29 individuals.
Sir Paul Williams, the Prior for Wales said:
“I have had the privilege of being involved since the beginning of the awards in 2013, and to assist in the presentation of the awards as Prior for Wales since 2017”.
“It has been a profound and moving experience to meet with and thank the families, partners and friends of donors who have had to make the most difficult of decisions at the most trying of times in their lives. Whilst in the depth of despair to give hope of good health or life to others is such a selfless act of generosity.”
"The importance of organ donation and the wonderful work of all the staff at NHS Blood and Transplant cannot be overemphasised.”
The families were reunited with members of the Organ Donation Team, some of whom had personally helped the families through their loved one’s organ donation process.
The motto of the Order of St John is Pro Fide Pro Utilitate Hominum which translates to ‘For the Faith and in the Service of Humanity’. The Organ Donor Awards honour those who have made the ultimate service to humanity, by giving others the gift of hope.
If you’d like to find out more about the Order of St John and the work of Wales’ leading first aid charity St John Ambulance Cymru, please visit www.sjacymru.org.uk.