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Holly in line for national award

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A WARRINGTON kidney transplant patient, who spearheaded a high-profile campaign to boost organ donation, is in line to win a prestigious national award recognising the impact of her volunteering.
Holly Shaw, who will graduate in Early Childhood Studies from the University of Chester this November, will travel to London next month for the”vInspired” National Awards, after winning a regional “vInspired” Shout Award for her prolific campaigning.
Holly, (pictured) from Westbrook, underwent a kidney transplant in October last year, having spent more than three years undergoing regular dialysis while she waited for the phone call that changed her life.
During her time on the transplant waiting list, she set up the Gift of Life campaign to encourage people to sign the Organ Donor register, and from humble beginnings the initiative has sprung to national prominence.
During a national Donor Day earlier this year, Holly appeared on television and even received a personal message of support from Prime Minister Gordon Brown, as her endeavours prompted 3,200 people to sign up to be organ donors.
Since then, Holly’s campaign has continued. She spent six months with a camera crew making a TV documentary for Channel 4 and remains an advocate for the Live Life Then Give Life charity, which supports those waiting for transplants and provides post-transplant support.
The university is part of the Cheshire vInvolved team, is supported by funding from” v”, the youth volunteering charity, as part of its £75 million national youth volunteering programme, which aims to inspire 500,000 young people aged 16 to 25 to get positively involved.
Holly said: “I’m very excited about going to the awards ceremony in London. I wasn’t expecting to win the regional prize, so this is fantastic news. I started campaigning before my transplant and I’m not going to stop now, it has made a massive difference to my life.
“People take so many things for granted, like being able to eat and drink what they want and going for a day out. Thanks to the generosity of the donor and their family, my life has changed and I can now enjoy these things.
“Organ donation is something I feel passionately about and I’m thrilled to be able to spread the word. Fortunately my story has a happy ending, but that isn’t always the case due to the shortage of organ donors in the UK.
“I was given the gift of life and I’ll always be eternally grateful for that. I’m living life to the full and I’ll never stop campaigning.”
Claire Britton, the university’s volunteer co-ordinator, added: “Holly has demonstrated courage and passion for this campaign, despite her own health issues and academic commitments. I’m so pleased Holly has won the Regional Shout Award, and will keep my fingers crossed she wins the National Award too!”
Next month, Holly will celebrate the year since her transplant by taking part in an abseil at Wirral’s Leasowe Lighthouse to raise money for Live Life Then Give Life. To sponsor her, visit www.justgiving.com/LLTGL-abseil

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Experienced journalist for more than 30 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with six in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC and current director. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management

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