YORK’S political chiefs are to be urged to seek support from across the UK for The Press’s Lifesavers campaign.

Less than two months after its launch, our Lifesavers drive has already led to 2,519 people in North and East Yorkshire signing up to become organ donors – an average of more than 50 a day.

But we still aim to recruit 20,000 new donors by the end of this year – and now City of York Council will be asked to write to every local authority in the country and request that they adopt measures to back Lifesavers.

Holgate councillor James Alexander will table the question at Thursday’s meeting of the full council. He said: “UK Transplant estimates there are between 7,000 and 8,000 people currently waiting for a transplant.

“According to figures in 2006, for every one million people, only 12 people donate their organs and this rate was one of the lowest in western Europe. This leads to a serious shortage of organs.

“Although I am personally in favour of presumed consent for organ donations, I am a strong supporter of The Press’s Lifesavers campaign to increase the number of people on the organ donation register. More organ donors will help more people.

“I am asking the council leader, Coun Andrew Waller, to show support for the campaign by getting the council to write to all other local authorities in the country and ask them to adopt measures to increase the number of people on the organ donation register.”

Lifesavers was launched in December following the death of 22-year-old Miss York finalist Emma Young. Emma died while waiting for a lung transplant.

Since then, the donor tally in our circulation area has leapt from 244,106 to 246,625.

The campaign is also looking to raise awareness of organ donation and encourage people to discuss it with their loved ones, as well as reigniting the debate over a UK opt-out system, where organs would be donated unless the person specifically stated they did not wish this to happen.

How to sign up

You can join the NHS Organ Donor Register by:

• Going online at www.organdonation.nhs.uk

• Phoning the 24-hour donor line on 0300 123 23 23

• Texting SAVE to 84118

You can also join when you:

• Register for a driving licence

• Apply for a Boots Advantage card

• Register at a GP surgery

• Register for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

Leaflets are also displayed in GPs surgeries, libraries and many hospitals and pharmacies.