Edinburgh schoolgirls hit right notes in defibrillator campaign

A DETERMINED pair of schoolgirls have hit all the right notes after busking to help fund the installation of lifesaving medical equipment in one of the Capital’s largest public parks.

Tuesday, 5th March 2019, 2:35 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th March 2019, 2:37 pm
Two 10-year old school friends unveil a defibrillator at the Meadows Pavilion that they fundraised for at the end of last year. Pic captions: Lily MacRae (dark hair) Isla Hathorn (blonde) With mums: Alison MacRae (black hair, pink coat), Claire Hathorn (purple coat)

Lily MacRae and Isla Hathorn, ten, said they wanted to help people feel “safe” when using the Meadows after their musical campaign helped fund an emergency defibrillator in the area.

The George Heriot’s pupils braved the freezing December weather to collect more than £500 in donations for the apparatus after performing for locals and tourists.

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They also raised more than £1,000 through an online crowdfunding page, while a running group who regularly use the park also contributed to the campaign.

The defibrillator has now been installed on the outside wall of the pavilion next to the play park and tennis courts at the east end of the Meadows to be accessed by any member of the public in an emergency.

Lily, who sadly lost her grandfather following a cardiac arrest last year, admitted she was “really surprised” by the money raised and thanked those who supported the campaign for their donations.

She said: “We wanted to help get a defibrillator for the Meadows so that people can feel safe when they come here.

“A lot of people come to the tennis courts or run here and people come to the playground who might need a defibrillator if something happens to them.”

Lily added: “We were really surprised by how much we raised. It felt really good that we managed to do it. Somebody gave us £120 anonymously, which was really kind.”

The life-saving piece of kit has been provided as part of charity St John Scotland’s “St John and the City” project – which has so far seen more than 110 defibrillators made available across the Capital.

Figures from the service found around 70 people suffered cardiac arrests in Scotland every week.

Lily’s mum Alison MacRae, a doctor, said: “Lots of people who supported us said they were really surprised there wasn’t already a defibrillator on the Meadows, so we’re glad the girls have been able to help rectify that”

“It’s great to help get information out there about defibrillators and how important they are.”

Lynn Cleal, who leads up the St John and the City defibrillator project praised the efforts of the pair, adding: “We’re so impressed by Lily and Isla’s fundraising efforts and their desire to help people in their local area. It’s great that the Meadows now has access to one of these life-saving machines 24 hours a day.”

She added: “We hope in a way that it never needs to be used, but it’s great to know that it’s there for the benefit of everyone who enjoys the Meadows.”