Partnerships & Alumni Champions


Sara Kenney

Worked as a writer/producer/director for 25+ years in TV and science engagement and more recently in comics and games. In 2011 she set up Wowbagger Productions to explore how collective working, art and storytelling can improve science & health outcomes for all. Sara is currently writing/ producing 2 x comics, a digital game (featuring a comic) and also works part-time at the Environment Agency as a ‘Senior Engagement Advisor’.

Sarah Akinterinwa

We are working with Sarah to create an exciting catalogue of comics that will raise awareness and tells the story about blood and organ donation especially for marginalised groups such as the Black and Asians.

Sarah Akinterinwa is an editorial illustrator, character designer, graphic designer, fine artist, and a New Yorker Magazine cartoonist. She is the creator and artist behind the Black-British cartoon Oyin and Kojo. She is based in London, UK.

For more information:

We Are Donors

We are proud to be in partnership with We Are Donors and support the Brighton Team who aim to increase the number of organ and blood donors across the UK through student led education through school outreach.

For more information contact:

2022 Quality Assurance in Practice Learning (QAPL) Placement Students  

Zeina Clare

BSc Adult Nursing student.

I first saw the life changing effect of organ donation, working as an HCA in the Sussex Kidney Centre at the Royal Sussex County Hospital. Successful candidates for kidney transplant attended the centre peri and post transplant, and I would see them regularly. Successful transplants transformed our patients beyond imagination, and to share in their journey was very rewarding. As a second year adult nursing student at the University of Brighton, opening conversations with patients around the subject or donor-ship should be part of the degree curriculum in my eyes. It is so important to reach all members of society regardless of their religious beliefs or traditions that may have made donation unacceptable or inaccessible. I am looking forward to working with other students in this research along with the research team. 

Jeneika Woodgate-Bruce

I am an Adult Nursing student. I joined University of Brighton’s Donor Research project for my final placement of the year! I look forward to gaining a better understanding of organ donation, in particular the under representation of the Ethnic Minority community.

Meet our 2022 Learning Digital Partner

Areej Al-Habsi

Areej is a Media and Environmental Communication student from the School of Art and Media. She is an intern as part of University of Brighton’s Digital Learning Partners Initiative. This is a staff/student partnership project is supported by the university’s Information Services, and managed by the Learning and Teaching Hub.

Alumni Champions

Alice de Courcy Thompson

Communications Supervisor

I am currently in my third year studying Biomedical Science and have been a part of the Donor Research team since Summer 2021. I am currently working on my third year project which attempts to address the overrepresentation of ethnic minority groups on the organ donor waiting list as well as the underrepresentation on the organ donor register. My inspiration for this came from the Donor Research Team and I continue to be inspired to encourage open and honest conversations surrounding organ donation.

Swetha Kalaimani

I am currently a second year Biomedical Science Student at the University of Brighton. I have been interested in organ donation for the last couple of years, especially due to the lack of education about organ donation in my cultural community. As someone who is passionate about healthcare, I have always strived to create an environment where everyone can receive the care they need, and Donor Research is the perfect place to raise awareness and do just that. I hope Donor Research will open new windows of knowledge and help widen my horizons.

Odess Anareta

I’m Odess Anareta, a 2nd year Adult Nursing student with interest in public health and research. Blood and organ donation is of interest to me as it highlights an area of healthcare where inequalities manifest and persist. BAME communities are more likely to have diseases that lead to organ failure – due to an array of biological, psychosocial, behavioral and socioeconomic factors – but they are also much more likely to suffer from organ donation scarcity. Hence, I wish to be a part of a Donor Research group that is addressing the complex issue of low organ donation rates from BAME communities as I believe that this is one way of bridging this gap, among many others.

Dillan Khilochia

I am a first year Biomedical Science Student at the University of Brighton. My main reason for joining the donor research team is due to my interest in the inequalities present in the number of ethnic minority organ donors. I understand that there is a certain stigma attached to organ donation and I wish to be a part of a movement which challenges this stigma through educational and accessible information. 

Stephen Scott-Loach

I am currently a first year Trainee Nursing Associate and am enjoying every moment. I am from a social services background, both adults and children services. I also have experience of working in NHS rehabilitation services. I am currently a blood donor and am registered on the organ donation list where I have stated they can have any organs. I am interested in this as I want to give back and help others to live after my death. I also wish to expand my knowledge of healthcare and add to my nursing experience.

Lisa-Marie Ward

I started studying FdSc in health and social care (nursing associate) in February 2023. Medically, I have an extensive background in dementia, trauma and orthopedics, planned surgical care and most recently, within community mental health. Once qualified, I want to specialise in Paediatric oncology. I guess the main reason for this (and my reasonings for having a keen interest in blood and donor research) is because, in 2001, at the tender age of 5, my brother was diagnosed with 2 types of leukaemia, for which he needed a bone marrow transplant to survive. Unfortunately, due to tricky genetics, we could not use a family donor and had to reach out for an unrelated one. Luckily, we found one within a few weeks and the transplant was successful. My brother then went onto endure several more cancers throughout his lifetime, before losing the battle and passing away in 2019 aged 24 from lung cancer. I’m telling you this because had he not had a successful bone marrow transplant in the first place, we would not have had as many years with Ryan as we did and for that I am truly grateful. He was my best friend and I miss him so much. He is my reason for doing what I do. My aim is to promote and encourage blood and organ donations as much as physically possible. I’ve always wanted to be a donor, but as mentioned my family have tricky genes so I am unable to do so, but by doing this lead role I can help others to know the importance of blood and organ donation. Having a personal connection with someone on the receiving end of a donation gives me the insight and empathy to give something back. It will also help me longer term when I am a paediatric oncology nurse!

Katherine Hammerton

I am currently in my first year of studies as a Biomedical Science student and was surprised at how little my cohort knew about organ donation and their say in the matter. Often time it is a topic that gets overlooked as a majority of people are ill-informed – resulting in a plethora of misconceptions surrounding your choices and how they can be tailored to fit personal beliefs. I hope that as a member of this team, I will be able to help people make a choice and become actively involved wherever they can. 

Estella Brown

I’m a third year Biomedical Science student at the University of Brighton and have been a part of the Donor Research Team since the end of my first year. My role began with designing events and social media posts to help people register an informed choice. It has now progressed to supporting other students with their introduction to research, contributing to a systematic review and presenting to other students in lectures and other research teams at conferences. I am currently working on my third year project, which assesses the change in attitudes and knowledge of Biomedical Science and Pharmacy students after having a lecture on organ donation. When I’m not in Brighton, I am a Healthcare Assistant in Cambridge on a cardiothoracic transplant ward.


Kuba is a versatile creative with a passion for storytelling and a knack for thinking outside the box. From painting on canvases to composing music, creating comics, and writing poetry, Kuba’s bubbly creativity knows no bounds. With a degree in creative writing and a forthcoming adventure as a parent, Kuba’s work is fueled by passion and a relentless drive to find innovative solutions. He always finds space for a personal touch.

Mia Robinson

I am a mature student living in Eastbourne and attending the School of Applied Science at the Moulsecoomb campus of the University of Brighton.

I am particularly interested in the blood sciences, so it has been a real pleasure to join the donor research champions team. I feel being a part of this team will enhance my academic career, giving me the opportunity to learn more about what it means to be a donor and how donations can save lives as well as providing a valuable input to research into many diseases and therapeutics. I have just completed my level 3 Phlebotomist training, which means I am trained in the taking of blood samples and in my education in biomedical sciences I am learning how to analyse samples. I find this to be both fascinating and fulfilling.

Being a part of the Donor research champions gives me the chance to help tell people about the benefits of being a blood and organ donor, it will also give me the chance to meet people who work within the field of blood sciences, and I hope my Phlebotomy training will enable me to find a placement or volunteer role within the blood collection and transfusion services. I hope I can make use of my knowledge of phlebotomy to enhance my activities within the donor research team and I look forward to engaging with you all during my time with the team.

Joana Miranda

Senior Reviewer

To improve the health of individuals and thereby bring about positive change to society as a whole is an aspiration I hold as my most fundamental of values. Emergency medicine is an area of patient care I’m interested in, particularly trauma. Modern emergency medicine has an intimate relationship with donors and recipients and depends upon blood and organ donations. There is still an immense gap between donors and recipients that is vital to close. By joining the NHSBT Donor Research, I aim to bring value to the project by fully understanding the needs of donors, recipients and the multidisciplinary health team that thrive on making a difference in patient care.

Dishani Arulamplam

Being part of the BAME community has sparked a personal interest in organ donation. These conversations were stimulated within my family due to the opt-out system that was brought in last year. From this experience, what I have realised is the importance of communication to understand the value of organ donation.

Shavanne Edwards

I’m a recent BSc Biomedical Sciences graduate and I am excited to explore current attitudes towards organ donation. Presently I am having these conversations with my family, but they have remained casual but as the discussion between more challenging the topic can become uncomfortable. I believe the only way to progress the discussion around organ donation in order to make it an acceptable and accessible topic between loved ones is to remove the formality, mystery and pressure, approaching the subject in a reassuring manner.


Hi my name’s Anndior . I’m a second year nursing student. I would start a conversation about organ donation, by asking people what their greatest fear about donating to give them confidence in whatever decision the decide to make!

Carla Lima Vaz Quaresma

I am a second-year biomedical sciences student and I normally stimulate conversations about organ donations with my friends and family by telling them some statistics of organ donation and the BAME community and try to understand why my family members and many people from an African background are not interested in organ donation.


My name is Elisha and I am going into my second year of Biomedical Science. To stimulate conversation about organ donation, I would have an open dialogue with my family and my community, making sure to highlight the facts and figures, ensuring that its known what is involved in organ donation and the help that is given along the way by the professionals.

Dorothy Ave

After gaining insight from researching organ donations and their popularity across different communities, I evidently found out that BAME communities have a shortage in relation to organ donations. Coming from a BAME background these findings have sparked my interest in this research project. I am fascinated and curious to investigate perceptions and barriers that hinder my community from being organ donors. Finding possible solutions to this matter is very important to me.

Ceren Arslan

I’m Ceren Arslan, a 3rd year Biomedical Science student, and I am interested in exploring the significance of organ donation in society. I believe that it is important to have comfortable discussions about organ donation with family, in order to know their honest stance on the matter. By developing a well informed understanding of the subject, it can be easier to initiate and facilitate these conversations.

Vejeeva Jeevananthan

The facts are staggering about the lack of BAME donors and finding someone suitable. I would like to raise awareness and start a donation conversation by presenting information with statistics, the actual process and discuss personal views that may prevent a BAME member to opt-in. By having an informative open discussion with someone who were once doubtful perhaps due to misconceptions or lack of awareness, may now be interested in becoming a donor and help save lives!!