North Antrim MLA Robin Swann is urging local support for organ and blood donations in 2018.
The Assemblyman, who is also Ulster Unionist Party leader, has called on people here to make it their New Year Resolution to seriously consider signing up for the Organ Donor card and also becoming blood donors in 2018.
Mr Swann said: “I recall in a past Assembly attending a function at Parliament Buildings Stormont to announce that that year’s British Transplant Games would be in Belfast.
“The Ulster Unionist Party has often stressed the need for donors to come forward in Northern Ireland and it is hoped that by raising awareness, the UUP will be able to promote an initiative which save lives. I want to make raising such awareness one of my personal pledges during 2018 as over 8,000 people are currently waiting for transplants in the UK.
“We need to reduce these numbers and it is for this reason that the UUP is trying to raise awareness of this crucial issue.
“As parents, many of us fully understand the importance of organ donation and we believe it is vital that people see the public face of a transplant patient rather than just statistics.
Mr Swann, who is himself a blood donor, added: “I would encourage you and your family to sign up and register – it is not enough to simply carry a card as you must also be listed on the Organ Donor Register.”