IT IS great to see that Kendal’s new Mayor, Cllr Chris Hogg, is to use his year in office to promote organ donation in the town. He wants Kendal to become known as a ‘donor town’.

The people of South Lakeland have proved their selfless nature on this issue once before with The Westmorland Gazette’s Gift of Life campaign in 2010.

Inspired by moving personal stories, the campaign encouraged thousands of local people to sign the National Organ Donor Register.

During 2014 and 2015, 19 people from Cumbria had an organ transplant thanks to someone donating their organs after death. Five others received a kidney transplant from a living donor.

As Cllr Hogg himself has pointed out, it is very rare to have the chance to do something for free that could make such a huge difference.

After death, organ donors can save or transform up to nine lives, and tissue donors can help even more.

Many of us would agree to the idea of organ donation in principle, and even intend to sign the register, but never seem to get around to it.

This campaign, for many people, could be the inspiration and motivation they need to actually sign up.

It’s also important to raise awareness around the need to discuss your wishes with those closest to you.

No-one likes to think about the worst happening, but if someone has signed the donor register and not discussed it with their family, there is a risk it may not happen.

Cllr Hogg’s ambitious approach will see him spend the next year visiting businesses, clubs and communities – any organisations signing up will get a certificate and be pictured with an official banner.

If the goal is achieved Cllr Hogg’s plan is to – literally – set it in stone, with a plaque that will be placed in the heart of Kendal.

It is currently unclear whether there is such thing as a ‘donor town’ at the moment.

But if Kendal is the first such place, the status could put the town on the map and also encourage others to follow suit.