Writing to a donor family or recipient


By letter, card or email - We're here to support you

Key points

  • Donor families or transplant recipients can make the first contact
  • You can write a letter, card or email, and send photographs
  • Correspondence can go to your transplant centre, or the Donor Family Care Service team
  • It’s never too early or too late to write

Writing to a living donor? There is a separate process for this. See how it works

Why write?

Writing to your donor family, or a recipient of your loved one’s donation is often very much appreciated.

We understand that writing your letter, card or email can be a very emotional and challenging experience and we're here to support you. 

Watch our videos to hear from people who have written and received letters themselves, or who are still deciding what to do.  

What is the process?

  1. Write your letter, card or email.  Avoid sharing any information that would make you personally identifiable  
  2. Your correspondence will be read by your transplant coordinator or a member of the Donor Family Care Service team, to check it doesn’t reveal identifiable information
  3. A photocopy is kept on file for future reference
  4. The Donor Family Care Service match your correspondence with your donor
  5. Transplant recipients or a member of the donor’s family are told that correspondence is available to them, depending on who has made contact first
  6. If the person wishes to receive your correspondence, it is forwarded in a separate envelope to be opened at their discretion

What to write

Things to consider

Feel free to include information about your social life, hobbies, children or partner if you would like to.

If you are a transplant recipient, you don't need to explain how you came to need a transplant to your donor family unless you want to.

What not to include

Your correspondence with your donor family or a transplant recipient should not contain any identifiable information, such as:

  • Your surname
  • Your address, or the name of your town or city
  • Your place or company of work
  • The name of the hospital in which the donation or transplant took place

This is to ensure both you and the donor are able to remain anonymous. 

Where to send your correspondence

If you are a transplant recipient

If you are a donor family member

Further support



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