A FORMER pipe major has helped the Shockingly Easy campaign secure another defibrillator – by making a £1600 donation.
Ian McLeod, who led Lothian and Borders Police Pipe Band to victory in five World Championships, made the generous gesture in the hope it will save lives.
The retired police officer, from Cramond, has a heart arrhythmia so said he understood the difference the equipment can make.
“You hear so much about it nowadays, especially with young people and that lives could’ve been saved if there was a defibrillator at hand,” the 83-year-old said.
“I’ve always been enthusiastic about sport, especially in young people. I could play sport before I could walk. If this helps to save a youngster’s life then that makes it worthwhile.”
An officer for 25 years, he would play football for the police, although his main passion was the band – which he led for 17 years.
His pledge has taken the total donated to more than £16,000 – enough for about ten of the life-saving devices.
Wife Mary, 68, said they wanted to help as the couple have teenage grandchildren around the same age as 13-year-old Jamie Skinner was when he died last December.
She said: “Having had an interest in sport himself over the years and having an arrhythmia he knows the dangers that are involved. “He couldn’t stand the thought of young lads passing away because of something like that.”
Former Hearts youth player Jamie was making his debut for Tynecastle FC when he collapsed on the pitch. Although Saughton had a defibrillator on site, it was not used amid the panic.
The Evening News joined forces with Scotmid and Jamie’s family who set up a charity – The Jamie Skinner Foundation – in a bid to get defibrillators into sports clubs across the Lothians and ensure staff have the training to confidently use them. It has gone from strength to strength with scores of people and businesses getting behind the crusade. Edinburgh South Football Club, where Jamie used to play, was named as the first recipient of a Scotmid-funded defibrillator earlier this month.
Dalkeith Miners CYP bought two heart-starting devices and trained coaches across the 18 teams in using the equipment.
Jamie’s sister, Sonia McCraw, said the family continued to be “staggered” by the public response.
She said: “It is absolutely incredible how generous people have been. It’s amazing that someone would send that amount to buy a defibrillator.
“Jamie would be very proud.”
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 sports centre in the Lothians. 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 take a defibrillator course at your sports club
• Learn CPR skills
If you can help, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Clubs involved so far:
• Easthouses FC
• Edinburgh South FC
• Kirkliston & South Queensferry FC
• Lauriston Thistle FC
• Leith Athletic FC
• Loanhead Miners Youth FC
• Sighthill Bowling Club
• Silverknowes Golf Club