THE rate at which people are signing up to a regional organ donor register has increased by 63 per cent following the launch of The Westmorland Gazette’s Gift of Life campaign.

Since May, 1,571 Gazette readers have joined the register, potentially saving the lives of hundreds of people.

The campaign aims to tackle the shortage of organ donors in Cumbria, currently standing at just 19.5 per cent of the population or 10 per cent fewer than the national average.

Pam Prescott of NHS blood and trans-plant said: “Getting this many people signed up is fantastic and has far exceeded our expectations. It’s impressive for so many people to sign up in such a short space of time and The Westmorland Gazette has clearly worked hard to get the message out there.”