Patients, families, and donors can experience a range of emotions before, during, and after transplantation. From joy at a new transplant to guilt about receiving a deceased donation, you may find yourself thriving, struggling, or both, after your transplant.
It is vital to look after your mental health as well as your physical health and support groups can be a great way of receiving support and meeting other transplant recipients.
Most transplant centres and units should be able to put you in touch with local support groups, so be sure to chat with your team if you are looking for support.
Below are a few examples of kidney transplantation support groups across the UK that you may be able to get involved with.
Harmonies of Hope Choir
Harmonies of Hope Choir is a children’s transplant choir based in London. Through music and socialising, the choir offers a safe place for children and their families to connect and reflect on the experiences of transplantation.
Founded in 2018 to support children and their siblings from Evelina Children’s Hospital, the choir has since expanded to support children and families from Great Ormond Street Hospital. All choir members have either received a transplant, are waiting for transplant, or are the sibling of a transplant patient.
Donor Family Network
The Donor Family Network supports the families and friends of organ and tissue donors.
The Network offers support to donor families, regardless of when the donation happened or in what circumstances.
They host an annual service of Remembrance, have developed a National Memorial to donors, publish a regular newsletter and offer support in person and on the phone.
Black Living Donor Choir
The Black Living Donor Choir was formed in 2022 as a way to raise awareness of living donation in the Black community. They promote discussions around kidney failure and organ donation through music and performance.
“We want Black patients to live their best lives now through living donation and avoid needing dialysis. As a choir we are a visible representation of the fact that Black people do donate!” says founder Dela Idowu.
Gift of Living Donation (GOLD)
Also founded by Dela Idowu, Gift of Living Donation (GOLD) is a community organisation working to promote living kidney donation in the Black community. The group raises awareness of the impact of live donation in a community that is disproportionately affected by kidney failure.
Brought together after all its members needed transplants, Gifted Organs are a Welsh band dedicated to raising awareness of organ donation and the donor registry across the UK.
Their original music, all composed by transplant recipients, celebrates the gift of life that donation can bring, as well as honouring the memory of donors and their families.
Popham Kidney Support
Based in Wales, Popham Kidney Support is a charity that provides emotional, financial, and wellbeing support to people and families living with kidney disease, both pre- and post-transplantation. They offer a Peer Support Service, in which trained Peer Mentors – people with a lived experience of kidney disease – can provide one-on-one support with topics such as transplantation.
British Transplant Games
The British Transplant Games are an annual event held in different locations across the UK each year and they are open to anyone who has received or donated an organ.
The Games host a number of sporting events, including track and field events, swimming, cycling, tennis, table tennis, snooker, archery, badminton, 5-a-side football, ten pin bowling, and a Donor Run.
Transplant Patients Trust
Founded in 1991, the Transplant Patients Trust are a charity who provide support, as well as financial assistance, to patients and families at every stage of the transplantation journey.
Financial assistance can include help for travel and parking to appointments, childcare, white goods such as fridges, and support with recovery after transplantation.