12 defibrillators for projects in Craigmillar

Tracy McCallum (Niddrie Community Church Cafe Manager), Kev Finlay (Project Worker at Kids in the Street), Norrie Davies (chair of CCRG) and Sam Grieve (Community Defibrillation Officer with Scottish Ambulance Service). Picture: Greg Macvean
Tracy McCallum (Niddrie Community Church Cafe Manager), Kev Finlay (Project Worker at Kids in the Street), Norrie Davies (chair of CCRG) and Sam Grieve (Community Defibrillation Officer with Scottish Ambulance Service). Picture: Greg Macvean
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a HOST of community projects have become the latest to receive life-saving machines following our high-profile campaign.

Craigmillar Castle Regeneration Group (CCRG) donated £15,000 to buy 12 defibrillators for groups in the local area.

The heart-start machines were handed out yesterday to groups as varied as a youth sports project to a support network for the elderly.

The investment is the latest boost for the Shockingly Easy campaign, launched by the News and the family of Jamie Skinner after the teenager suffered a fatal cardiac arrest on a football pitch.

Some of the Craigmillar projects have already received specialist training and the equipment will now be rolled out across the sites.

Jamie’s sister Sonia McCraw said that the latest announcement – which comes just days after the East of Scotland Football League announced it was giving defibrillators to each club – was “fantastic”.

She said: “It’s just great that there will be even more machines in Edinburgh. They are the easiest and simplest thing to use, and it’s nice to know that some kids are showing an interest.”

CCRG chairman Norrie Davies said that Jamie’s death was the “catalyst” for the funding decision.

He said: “Hopefully they will not have to get used but in any case, they will be in place. It’s good to know they are situated throughout the community.”

Kev Finlay, of Kids in the Street (KITS), a local charity which encourages children to get involved in sports, organised defibrillator training with the ambulance service at Castlebrae High earlier this year.

The school janitors were among those who took part in the workshops.

He said: “With everything that’s gone on with Jamie Skinner sadly passing away at Saughton, this is a great use of money that’s been given by the Craigmillar Castle Regeneration Group. They deserve some recognition for such a worthwhile cause.

“The instructions to use them are just so simplistic. It’s the tiniest of boxes and it runs through everything – it’s idiot proof. It’s a piece of equipment which be of some comfort.”

As well as KITS, the machines have so far been handed to Holyrood Boxing Gym, Caring in Craigmillar, Niddrie Mission, Castlebrae Community Centre, Castlebrae Community High and Castle View Primary. Other organisations will receive them after staff complete training.

Councillor Mike Bridgman said: “It’s a fantastic gesture by CCRG, with the campaign in the Evening News highlighting the need for defibrillators. It’s a great legacy that Jamie has left.”

kaye.nicolson@edinburghnews.com