Church backs defibrillator appeal

Edinburgh UK Aug 03 2015; St Ninians charity committee members Carole Harkins Irene Smith, Maureen Mills, Rose Taylor, Helen Fraser and Betty Mills. Picture: Scott Taylor

Edinburgh UK Aug 03 2015; St Ninians charity committee members Carole Harkins Irene Smith, Maureen Mills, Rose Taylor, Helen Fraser and Betty Mills. Picture: Scott Taylor

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CHARITABLE parishioners have made a grand gesture towards saving lives in the Lothians – by making a generous donation towards the cost of a defibrillator.

As the curtain falls on last week’s first anniversary celebrations for the Shockingly Easy campaign, the St Ninian’s One World Group has come forward with £1000 for our appeal.

The Evening News launched the Shockingly Easy campaign last year alongside the family of talented footballer Jamie Skinner, who suffered a fatal cardiac arrest while making his debut for Tynecastle FC in December 2013.

The appeal has gone from strength to strength in its bid to equip every sports club in the Lothians with a vital heart-start machine.

The St Ninian’s One World Group, which is based at the church in Marionville Road, was urged to support the campaign by members of the 
community who were moved to act by the death of 13-year-old Jamie.

Treasurer Helen Thorn, of Craigleith, said: “The thing with the work of the Jamie Skinner Foundation is that it is so local. Everyone had heard what happened to the poor lad.

“I suppose most people also know somebody who has had a heart attack and would recognise that defibrillators are needed.

“Each May we do a month of fundraising within the parish, where we make a decision on two different causes. 50 per cent goes to causes overseas and the other 50 per cent stays locally.

“This year the Shockingly Easy campaign was recognised as a good cause by our parishioners and we decided to support it.”

The money was raised through a string of 
fundraisers, including a coffee morning and a music night.

Backing the campaign, Mrs Thorn said: “I’m not sure people would have been as aware of the need for defibrillators before this campaign.

“We probably wouldn’t have decided to raise money for them if it wasn’t for the Evening News.”

The generous donation will go a long way towards the cost of the device, which is the most effective way of saving the life of someone who has suffered a cardiac arrest if used within the first five minutes.

The chance of surviving a cardiac arrest drops by ten to 20 per cent for every minute that passes without CPR or defibrillation, according to the British Heart Foundation.

The donation was welcomed by Jamie’s sister Sonia McCraw, who said the charity now has more than £31,000 in its coffers.

Mrs McCraw, chief executive of the JSF, said: “It was such a nice thing for them to do. This money will undoubtedly help to save somebody’s life.”

To apply for funding for a defibrillator please e-mail jamieskinnerfoundation@hotmail.com with your club’s details.

lizzy.buchan@edinburghnews.com