Dela Idowu, Honorary Doctor of the University

Dela Idowu is a community activist and founder of Gift of Living Donation, an organisation that raises awareness and educates people from the African-Caribbean community about living kidney donation.

Born in North West London to Nigerian parents, Dela studied Hotel and Catering Management at university and worked in many of London's top establishments, including the Savoy, Selfridges, and Harrods.

However, her passion for helping others led her to work in a community café, teaching people with special needs how to cook. In the late 90s, Dela volunteered in hospitals to help with catering, exposing her to the stigma surrounding AIDS and its impact on women.

Dela's volunteering took her to South Africa and Rwanda, where she participated in projects for women living with AIDS and HIV. With the support of her local church, Dela set up an NGO in Nigeria to support orphans. After returning to London, she received the life-changing news that her brother had been diagnosed with kidney disease.

Due to an underlying health condition, Dela could not donate herself, so she founded Gift of Living Donation, an organisation that empowers people to make informed decisions about live donation.

Her work involves changing mindsets to showcase the benefits to the community. Dela has collaborated with clinicians in leading London hospitals to help them navigate cultural differences and support Black people in finding suitable donors through community referrals.

She also worked with LSBU to develop the UK's first programme for university students to check high blood pressure. LSBU healthcare students have been trained as Community Ambassadors to check blood pressure and provide information on blood pressure, nutrition, and exercise.


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