YORK’S council chief has vowed to seek support from politicians across the UK for The Press’s drive to spare people from tragedy because of a lack of organ donors.

City of York Council leader Andrew Waller also revealed our Lifesavers campaign had inspired him to sign up to the NHS Organ Donor register – adding his name to the thousands of people who have already backed our aims.

Just two months after it was launched, the campaign has already led to 2,519 new donors coming forward – an average of 50 a day – as we look to raise that recruitment figure to 20,000 by the end of this year.

At a meeting of the full council tonight, Coun Waller agreed to a request by Holgate councillor James Alexander to write to every local authority in the country to seek support for Lifesavers.

“I am very supportive of The Press’s Lifesavers campaign as it will help to encourage more people to sign up for organ donation, which will greatly help those waiting in desperate need,” said Coun Waller.

“It has been an essential prompt to many people – myself included, I must admit – to get around to signing up to the NHS organ donation website, and to letting people know that is what I want.

“I will do my part as council leader to write to other councils to raise the profile of this campaign and the national need to increase awareness.”

The campaign was launched in December following the death of 22-year-old Miss York finalist Emma Young, who died while awaiting a lung transplant. Since then, the number of donors in our circulation area has risen from 244,106 to 246,625.

Lifesavers is also looking to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation, to encourage people to discuss it with their loved ones, and to reopen the debate over the UK introducing an opt-out system, whereby organs would automatically be donated unless the person specifically stated this was against their wishes.