The Living Kidney Transplant Scheme

About the scheme

The Living Kidney Transplant (LKT) scheme is part of NHS Blood and Transplant’s (NHSBT) commitment to build support for living donation and save and improve more lives.

The scheme will fund community and faith and beliefs organisations to positively engage Black, Asian, Mixed Race and minority ethnic communities in living kidney donation as most religions support living donation viewing it as a gift to a loved one.

We are also looking for applicants that are focused on addressing health literacy and other capability barriers across the general population, therefore moving towards greater health equity for all.

Funded projects will drive awareness of living donation, address misinformation and barriers, share information, and drive behaviour change therefore increasing support for living donation.

NHSBT’s Community Investment Scheme has shown that enabling grass roots organisations to champion organ donation in a culturally relevant way, is an effective way to engage these audiences.

We know that trusted local organisations can be successful at achieving these goals, due to their specialist knowledge, understanding and footprint in the community.

Organisations are also encouraged to consider wider health issues affecting their community, such as diabetes, as part of their project and develop creative ways to incorporate living donation into these discussions e.g. via food and healthy lifestyle promotion.

Aims of the scheme

The new Living Kidney Transplant Scheme aims to:

  • Increase awareness and relevance of living donation across Black and South Asian communities
  • Increase the diversity of prospective living donors
  • Increase the number of non directed living donors
  • Enable more patients to receive the best matched kidney

Why the scheme is needed

As set out in NHSBT’s latest organ and tissue donation and transplantation strategy, living donation will become an expected part of care, where clinically appropriate, for all in society.

Our Transplant Activity Report waiting list data shows that in particular, Black and Asian adults wait longer for a kidney transplant, on average around 10 and 5 months (respectively) longer than the White population.

Despite Black and Asian people representing about 10% of the UK population, they are highly over-represented on the transplant waiting list (26%).

Living donation sees a higher percentage of matching for these patients and is therefore critically important in reducing the inequity in waiting time.

Coupled with this, major research into kidney patients found strong evidence that people with reduced or low health literacy and/or capability barriers have reduced access to transplantation. We hope that projects invested in health literacy will develop new ways of addressing this.

Who can apply

Funding is open to projects across the UK, please indicate on your application form the area/areas your project will cover. NHSBT will connect applicants with their nearest transplant centre to work with the living donation team in the hospital.

We are particularly keen to hear from organisations with projects focused on raising awareness amongst the Black and South Asian communities.  

We welcome projects who will help raise awareness of and overcome low levels of health literacy and other capability barriers in the wider population. 

We also want to hear from projects that are focused on increasing living kidney donation more generally, specifically non-directed altruistic kidney donation (donating a kidney to someone you don’t know). 

We encourage organisations to come up with innovative new approaches to driving awareness of living donation.

We ask that all projects are aimed at those aged 30+ where living donation is most likely to be a robust decision.

To apply for the scheme you must be part of an organisation, unfortunately we cannot accept applications from individuals.

Covid-19 digital plan

Given the uncertainty we live in with Covid-19, we will ask that projects apply with a digital contingency plan in place should they need to move from delivering events and activities in person to online.

We can provide training and support to projects so that they feel comfortable delivering their project via digital tools.

Apply for funding

There are two options for funding depending on the idea, the geographical reach, and the project duration. 

The total funding budget is £100,000.

  • Projects £7,499 and under
  • Projects £7,500 - £15,000

Organisations can put in an application for each funding bracket but only one project will be funded if successful.

Successful projects will be announced in early/mid December and projects assigned a project advisor ready for a January 2022 start.

Projects can apply to run over either 12 months or 18 months as appropriate to be able to measure an associated impact. Please note that retrospective funding will not be considered.

The application process for this round of funding will be in three stages:

Stage 1

Expressions of interest

19 August - 12 September 2021

Complete a short proposal explaining your project idea and why you are the best person to deliver it.

If you meet or exceed the minimum score required you will go through to the next stage.

Please note that the application window for stage 1 expressions of interest is now closed.

Stage 2

Video pitch

October 2021

If you successfully pass stage 1, you will be invited to a 20 minute video pitch and Q&A session with members of the judging panel.

This will be recorded to allow more detailed feedback.

The judging panel will review all submissions and score the proposals. If you meet or exceed the minimum score required, you will go through to the next stage.

Stage 3


November 2021

If you successfully pass stage 2, you will be asked to complete a more detailed project form, including finance details and SMART objectives.

The judging panel will review all submissions and a panel of judges will score the proposals.

Those with the highest scores will be awarded funding.

The minimum score will be set and communicated along with the assessment criteria and the maximum marks available.

Unsuccessful applicants will be contacted and provided with feedback to help them apply for future rounds.

Please email any questions relating to the application process to: 

The inbox is monitored Monday – Friday.

More information