FOOD store chain Scotmid has backed the Evening News Shockingly Easy campaign to equip every sports club in the Lothians with a life-saving defibrillator.
The firm is offering to donate £250 towards the cost of a defibrillator to 11 sports clubs close to its shops in the region that have their own in-store devices, and is appealing for interested groups to come forward.
Kirkliston and South Queensferry (KSQ) FC has become the first club to benefit, kick-starting a funding drive by the club to secure a defibrillator for its 250 youth footballers.
The support of Scotmid is a major boost to the campaign in support of the Jamie Skinner Foundation, the charity set up by the family of 13-year-old Jamie, who collapsed and died of a cardiac arrest while playing football in December.
KSQFC secretary Mark Richardson said that, once purchased, the life-saving device would travel with the team to its games, and will be made available to the community in a pavilion at Allison Park in Kirkliston where it will be stored.
“This is a very, very generous donation from Scotmid to the club towards buying a defibrillator,” he said. “It’s a very good cause, and while we hope it will never be used, it will be there just in case there is an incident.
“Jamie’s tragic death highlighted to all sports clubs, including ourselves, that this piece of equipment is vital and could potentially save someone’s life. We have wanted to get a defibrillator for some time, but Scotmid coming along and helping to get us started with our fundraising is fantastic.”
Sonia McCraw, Jamie’s sister, thanked Scotmid and all the members of the public who have made donations since the campaign was launched.
She said the had been “bowled over” by the support.
“It’s so nice knowing that there are people out there that are willing to help, and who realise that it isn’t just the older generation that cardiac arrest can happen to.”
Malcolm Brown, head of corporate communications for Scotmid Co-operative, said: “As soon as we heard about the campaign, we knew we wanted to get involved.
“Over the past three years, Scotmid has invested a great deal in supporting our most vulnerable communities by installing defibrillators in many of our stores. Across Edinburgh and the Lothians, we have 11 ‘Heart Safe’ stores with these life-saving machines, which are a vital resource for the local community.
“We have pledged to donate kick-starter funds of £250 to 11 sporting clubs that are local to our ‘Heart Safe’ stores, to help towards the cost of a defibrillator.”
As well as Kirkliston, the ten other Scotmid ‘Heart Safe’ stores are at Leith Walk, Easter Road, Nicolson Street, Stockbridge, Gorgie, Portobello and Crewe Road in Edinburgh, as well as Prestonpans, Mayfield and Armadale.