Lisburn Councillor Robbie Butler has called on the community to consider signing up for the Organ Donor card as a resolution for 2016.
Mr Butler, who was selected by the UUP to contest the Assembly Election for Lagan Valley in May, made his appeal as part of his New Year Message to constituents.
“The Ulster Unionist Party has often stressed the need for donors to come forward in Northern Ireland,” said Mr Butler, “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 the lifetime of this council as thousands of people are currently waiting for transplants in the UK.
“We need to reduce these numbers . . .”
Councillor Butler said both he and the UUP initially became involved in the campaign when party member and Upper Bann UUP MLA Jo-Anne Dobson’s son Mark underwent surgery.
“At that time,” he said, “the Party got involved in raising awareness. Mark developed renal failure a number of years ago. He has been one of the fortunate ones and had a life-saving kidney transplant.
“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.
“We should all endeavour to do what we can to help others get a second chance at life as Mark has done.
“I encourage you and your family to make it a New Year resolution to sign up and register - it’s not enough to simply carry a card as you must also be listed on the Organ Donor Register.
“You need only to meet Mark or someone who has had an organ transplant to witness the positive effects this initiative can have on a family - they are huge.