WI launches two new tattoos for organ donation campaign

I am an organ donor tattoo design

I am an organ donor tattoo design

Members of the Gothic Valley WI, an official branch of the WI that operates in North London and attracts a wide range of members from the alternative community and beyond, are getting specially designed tattoos to show they are registered organ donors in support of the National Federation of Women’s Institute’s (NFWI) 2015 Organ Donation Campaign.

Some members were tattooed on Sunday 29 of March at Kilburn Original Tattoo Studio, 175 Kilburn High Road, London, NW6 7HY. A link to the photos can be found below.
A second session is planned in the next two months.

On the 15th of April permanent and temporary tattooed members will be gathering at Lauderdale House for their meeting and would be happy to answer questions and pose for photos. Join us in The Long Gallery upstairs at Lauderdale House, Waterlow Park Highgate Hill London N6 5HG at 7.30pm.

Madeleine Pearce, President of the Gothic Valley WI and long-time Gothic Community stalwart says: “Tattoos provide a permanent indicator of the desire to become an organ donor. With a tattoo, there can be no doubt for medical staff and family members as to the donor’s intentions – you know they really meant it!

“A lot of our members are part of the alternative community, so we felt that a tattoo would be the perfect way for us to express our wishes to donate our organs after our deaths. If seeing the dedication of our members getting a tattoo encourages just one extra person to tell their family that they want to be an organ donor and join the Organ Donor Register, we will have achieved our goal.”

There is a shortage of organ donors and three people die every day in the UK in need of an organ transplant.  There are 10,000 people in the UK in need of a transplant and one donor can help transform the lives of up to nine people.

Sally Johnson, Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation, NHS Blood and Transplant, said:

‘We are delighted that the WI is encouraging people to talk about organ donation and make their decision known in such innovative ways.

‘With four out of ten families still saying no to organ donation when asked, it’s more important than ever that people tell their families they want to be an organ donor.

‘However you do it – over a cup of tea, when you’re out walking the dog or like these ladies, by gathering a group of friends and having your intention permanently tattooed, let those closest to you know your decision to donate your organs.’

Marylyn Haines Evans, NFWI Public Affairs Chair, said:

“WI members really take campaigns to heart and we are always amazed at the huge variety of ways that WI members get involved in such a wide range of issues. Gothic Valley WI members are proving that the WI really is everything that you want it to be.  We’re looking forward to seeing their campaign tattoos, and believe that their actions will encourage even more people to have such a vital conversation with their families and friends to share their views on organ donation.”

Two tattoo designs have been created, In collaboration with local tattoo artist Joe Farrell at Kilburn Original. One is a heart outline with the words ‘I am an organ donor’, and the other is an anatomically correct heart with a banner across it saying ‘Donor’.

The artist has waived copyright on the images, so the designs can be used by any tattoo artist or printer. They are designed to be clearly readable and work in different ink colours so they can be used on a variety of skin tones.

Temporary tattoos will also be made available at meetings for those who wish to show their support.

For more information please contact Madeleine Pearce president@gothicvalleywi.org.uk, email us info@gothicvalleywi.org.uk or find us on twitter (@gothicvalleywi).


  1. Joining the NHS Organ Donor Register is easy – apply online, over the phone, by post, when registering with a GP, or when applying for a Boots’ loyalty card. https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/how_to_become_a_donor/registration/consent.asp?campaign=1034 or call 0300 1232323
  2. From jam and Jerusalem to black lace and Byron…meet one of the ‘new wave’ of London WIs. Gothic Valley WI was started in early 2012 by a group of friends and like-minded women in London. The founding members are a mix of professionals and students, who in our spare time like baking, jam-making, crafting and wearing lots of black. http://www.gothicvalleywi.org.uk/
    The Gothic Valley WI is willing to be interviewed and photographed.
  3. Joe Farrall can be found at Kilburn Original:
  4. http://kilburntattoo.blogspot.co.uk/p/contact.htmlThe WI celebrates its centenary in 2015, and is the largest voluntary women’s organisation in the UK with more than 212,000 members in 6,600 WIs. The organisation plays a unique role in enabling women to develop new skills, giving them opportunities to campaign on issues that matter to them and their communities, and provides wide-ranging activities for members to get involved in.  For further information please visit http://www.theWI.org.uk
  5. Photos from our first tattoo session Contact Catherine at ambassador@gothicvalleywi.org for press ready photos.


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2 Responses to WI launches two new tattoos for organ donation campaign

  1. Eve says:

    Hi There,

    Thanks for this and well done! I’m speaking as someone who is a lifelong goth (nearly 40!) and I had my heart and double lungs transplanted when I was 13.

    Without my donor, I’d be dead. This means a lot to so many people – you have no idea!

    Eve xx

    • Madeleine Madeleine says:

      Hi Eve-

      Thanks for the comment, it means a lot to hear your story too! We hope we can encourage as many potential donors as possible.


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