THE Skinner family has hailed the “overwhelming support” they have received in building a legacy for their beloved brother through the Shockingly Easy campaign.
Joining forces with the Evening News last year, the family established the Jamie Skinner Foundation in memory of the tragic 13-year-old, who suffered a fatal cardiac arrest while playing football in 2013.
A year on from the start of our campaign, the tight-knit family have been moved by the actions of clubs, readers and strangers who have come forward in support.
Jamie’s brother Tony Skinner said: “The achievements this last year have been amazing – better than I would have ever expected.
“It’s been great that lots of people are talking about it and lots of people know about defibrillators now.
“People often say to me that they had no idea until what happened to Jamie and we started doing this campaign.”
The 28-year-old said that the family had been overwhelmed by the support of the whole community, particularly from Jamie’s teammates and friends who threw themselves into fundraising to cope with their grief.
His sister Sonia McCraw said: “The only goal we have is making sure that every sports club has a defibrillator and everyone is more aware of what can happen. We know there are lots of clubs and businesses out there who say they are not interested but they need to know that it can happen to anyone.
“It’s about telling mums and dads whose kids play football, rugby or go swimming, that they can have confidence that if something happens then there will be someone who knows what to do.”
More than 1500 Scots died in the community in 2013 after suffering a cardiac arrest, a message the Jamie Skinner Foundation is keen to hammer home.
Sonia, 30, said: “You don’t have to be 75 years old, you could be a four-year-old boy or a five-year-old girl. You can be healthy and fit, and it doesn’t always matter.
“Using a defibrillator is the simplest thing in the world. It takes two hours to learn – and it might have saved my brother’s life.”
Since the celebration of the campaign’s first birthday last week, more donations have poured in which has taken the Jamie Skinner Foundation’s funding total to more than £31,000.
The latest data from the Scottish Ambulance Service also revealed an additional 75 defibrillators have been installed across the Lothians since July 2014.
IN MEMORY OF JAMIE
THE News has joined the family of Jamie Skinner in launching the Shockingly Easy campaign. We hope to ensure there is a life-saving defibrillator in every Lothian sports centre. Here’s how to help:
• Make a donation or fundraise for a defibrillator Cheques payable to The Jamie Skinner Foundation can be sent to Shockingly Easy, The Edinburgh Evening News, Orchard Brae House, 30 Queensferry Road, EH4 2HS.
• Volunteer to host a defibrillator training session at your sports club Contact Sam Grieve at the Scottish Ambulance Service by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Apply for funding for a device Email email@example.com for an application form.