Life-saving legacy for Jamie Skinner’s old club

Edinburgh South under-16s, Jamie's former team, will get money from Scotmid for a defibrillator. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Edinburgh South under-16s, Jamie's former team, will get money from Scotmid for a defibrillator. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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A LIFE-SAVING defibrillator has been gifted to tragic ­teenager Jamie Skinner’s old football team thanks to the Evening News’ Shockingly Easy campaign.

Edinburgh South Football Club was nominated to receive the heart-starting £2000 equipment by the family of the 13-year-old, who collapsed and died of a cardiac arrest while playing at Saughton just before Christmas.

Scotmid will pay for the vital kit after signing up to support the campaign, which aims to see every sports club in the Lothians equipped with the medical device.

The co-operative is also dishing out donations of £250 to 11 sports clubs to help them buy defibrillators of their own.

Jamie’s sister Sonia McCraw, 29, hailed Scotmid’s involvement, saying the equipment was worth every penny.

She said: “What has happened to Jamie means everyone has recognised this does not just happen to ­people over a certain age, it can ­happen to anybody.

“For the football team with kids under 14 or 15, knowing that there’s going to be a ­defibrillator there gives them peace of mind.”

Donations and offers of support have been flooding in since the family set up the Jamie Skinner Foundation in the former Liberton High School pupil’s memory.

Jamie was making his debut for Tynecastle when he collapsed suddenly on December 22 last year. Amid the panic which followed, a defibrillator which was on site at Saughton was not used.

Our campaign also aims to ensure that all staff at Lothian sports clubs are trained in how to operate the devices and confident about doing so.

Adam Hill, who coaches Edinburgh South’s under 16s team, said he would be learning how to use the club’s newly acquired defibrillator

He said: “It’s the first time the club has had one. As a coach, it’s important that I’m able to work it myself, like the first-aid kit and other medical equipment.

“Having a defibrillator is definitely something the boys are happy about – we’ll be putting it as close to the changing rooms as possible.”

Malcolm Brown, head of corporate communications for Scotmid Co-operative, said the company had already installed the machines in several of its stores and insisted it would continue to back our Shockingly Easy campaign.

“We are thrilled to be supporting the Shockingly Easy campaign,” he said. “To get the ball rolling, we are delighted to be donating a defibrillator to Jamie Skinner’s football club and have pledged a substantial sum to help bring defibrillators into more sporting clubs around Edinburgh.”

katie.richardson@edinburghnews.com