YORK residents and tourists signed up to the Organ Donor Register as The Press took its Lifesavers campaign to the city’s streets.

We had a stand in St Sampson’s Square yesterday handing out information about organ donation and encouraging people to sign up.

Hundreds of people took NHS leaflets and registration forms, and dozens signed up on the spot.

The stand, which will be in St Sampson’s Square again today, was to coincide with National Transplant Week, which has seen campaigners and health officials step up the drive across the country.

Gavin Aitchison, news editor at The Press, donor transplant co-ordinator Joanne Turner and Ashley Mason, ambulance technician at YorMed private ambulance service, manned the stall yesterday, raising awareness of organ donation.

Mr Mason said: “It’s important people think seriously about organ donation and don’t put off signing up. Efforts are being stepped up across the country this week, and we want to urge people to sign up the Organ Donor Register now.”

Mr Aitchison said: “It was really pleasing to see many people stopping and thinking seriously about organ donation. We had hoped to have more people sign up on the day, but hundreds of people have taken forms and, hopefully, they will fill them in and return them, rather than putting it off.

“Signing up couldn’t be easier and takes only 30 seconds – but can give the gift of life to numerous people. It’s one of the greatest and most important things you can ever do.”

We launched our Lifesavers campaign in December, following the death of 22-year-old Miss York finalist and cystic fibrosis sufferer Emma Young, who died while awaiting a double lung transplant.

We are aiming to get an extra 20,000 people in our circulation area to sign up by the end of 2010, to raise awareness of organ donation, and to reopen the debate on replacing Britain’s current opt-in system with a an opt-out one.

You can join the NHS Organ Donor Register by:

• Going online at organdonation.nhs.uk

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