Friday, 3 July 2009

The Gift of Life debut talk....

Yesterday me and my friend Sally got up at the crack of dawn (well 6.30, which is the crack of dawn for students like us!) We were driven to Westhoughton High School in Bolton by the lovely taxi driver - my Dad!

We arrived at the school and were met by the teacher I had spoke to on the phone and had been in contact with via email, she was lovely and made us feel so welcome.

The screen and laptop were already set up when we got into the room and it was starting to fill up with 6th form students!

The Battlefront video was shown, whilst I cringed in a few parts and then it was time to do the presentation! I was really nervous as this was my first experience of talking in public about the campaign. The teacher wanted me to focus on aspects of campaigning as this is the subject they are focusing on whilst doing active citizenship!

I started off talking a bit about me, my story, dialysis and transplant! Then we moved onto talking about the campaign, Donor Day, highs and lows of my campaign and campaigning in general, Sally spoke through some of these points and did a fantastic job! We focused on why I was campaigning about Organ donation, facts and figures etc. Finally we spoke about the keys to a successful campaign... which if you are interested in knowing I believe these are essential:

  • Information and Knowledge – Do your Research!
  • Communication
  • Planning and Organisation
  • Have clear aims!
  • Keep the message consistent
  • Man Power – Get a following
  • Network – never refuse help and always save contacts!
  • Attention – Make your campaign stand out!
  • Commitment
  • Creativity, Energy, Belief
I finished off with talking about how they could get involved and inviting questions, they were a bit shy to start off with so the teacher chipped in, then they got going, talking about the opt-out debate and giving alcoholics liver transplants, all really interesting stuff!

On the way there I had spotted the road called "Organ Street" so on the way back... not wanting to miss a photo opportunity....

There are a few more pics here.

Everyone made us feel so welcome, the kids listened intently and I was really interested to see about 75% of them had already joined the register... this was because the had had talks on Organ Donation before and so were quite knowledgeable. Of those who weren't on the register the others were thinking about doing it in the future. 3 people signed up there and then and many more took leaflets, pens, and stickers away!

All in all a successful talk!

Off to Birmingham tomorrow ON MY OWN! It's a scary but exciting prospect, I know quite a few people going so I'm sure once I get there (without getting lost, haha) I will be fine. I will be blogging about it next week as well as blogging about my talks at another school in Bolton (different age group and much bigger audience!)

Before I go... the Engage magazine has been issued, I haven't seen the article myself but you can get a sneaky peek of the front cover here, I have emailed to see if I can get hold of a few copies as it is subscription only. If I manage too, I will scan it in so you can all see!


  1. you look stunning on the front cover! You make it seem effortless all that photoshoot lark! Well spotted: organ street, how mad is that?!?! xxx take care gorgeous! :-)

  2. Haha! We rocked that 6th form hun :) Good bloggidge! Keep up the good work :) xx

    Sal xxx

  3. It was a fab talk, Holly. We all really benefitted from hearing what you and Sally had to say. You are great role models for young people. Keep us updated with your campiagn. Hope to see you again (at WHS?)
    Take care,