Golf club members tee up life-saving defibrillator

Alex Renton, James Gardiner and Willie Livingstone of Silverknowes Golf Club. Picture: Scott Louden
Alex Renton, James Gardiner and Willie Livingstone of Silverknowes Golf Club. Picture: Scott Louden
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A GOLF club is giving away a defibrillator after an overwhelming response to a fundraising campaign.

Members at Silverknowes Golf Club were aiming to raise £2000 to buy the vital heart-starting device, but collected more than double their target.

An anonymous benefactor also donated a defibrillator and now the club plans to buy another one and give it away for free to a nearby sports club.

Golfers at Silverknowes held a fundraising day on August 17 after a member was saved following a cardiac arrest.

They were “blown away” after pocketing £4500 – more than double their target – as well as the free piece of life-saving equipment.

Silverknowes’ offer comes as the first defibrillators secured through the Evening News’ Shockingly Easy campaign are placed in the community.

The campaign to put the device into every Lothians sports club is being run in support of the Jamie Skinner Foundation, a charity set up by the family of 13-year-old Jamie, who died of a cardiac arrest while playing football in December.

Edinburgh South Football Club, which Jamie used to play for, was named as the first recipient of a Scotmid-funded defibrillator last week.

The supermarket giant is also dishing out 11 donations of £250 to clubs to kick-start their own fundraising efforts.

Silverknowes member Steven Adamson prompted his club’s campaign after a defibrillator was used to save his life when he fell ill during football training with Preston Athletic in December 2012.

He said: “That night we had a normal coaching session, and I played a very small bit of football myself at the end. When I came out of the playing area, I never knew a thing but I had a cardiac arrest and collapsed at the side of the pitch.

“Obviously everyone realised it was serious, and fortunately for me, where we were was next to the rugby pitch and the team that were training had a defibrillator.

“I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be here now if it wasn’t for that defibrillator.”

Event organiser and club member James Gardiner said Silverknowes had raised cash by holding an auction.

He also appealed for nearby sports clubs who were unable to fund their own defibrillator to get in touch.

Mr Gardiner said: “Steven survived to tell the story, and we thought ‘let’s go for this and see how much we can raise’.

“He is a perfect example of why we need one, why the club needs one for the local community who play golf, the public who play golf.

“The money just went sky-high. We were also donated a defibrillator, although we don’t know who it’s from.

“That saved us a large amount of money, so we had a committee meeting and decided that we’re going to purchase another defib.”

Doing your bit in memory of jamie

THE Evening News has joined the family of Jamie Skinner in launching the Shockingly Easy campaign. We hope to ensure there is a life-saving defibrillator machine in every sports centre in the Lothians. Basic CPR life-saving training is also vital, so we are hoping to encourage many more people to learn these critical skills. We also hope to establish an appropriate memorial project in Jamie’s home village in Nigeria and between five and ten per cent of total donations will be used to this end. Here’s how to help:

n Make a donation or fundraise for a defibrillator Defibrillators cost around £2000 each, but any amount will help. Your local sports club can secure one at a discounted rate through the Shockingly Easy appeal. If you are organising a fundraiser, let us know so we can spread the word. 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 The Scottish Ambulance Service will provide you with all the advice and support you need.

- Learn vital CPR skills Sign up for a free class or volunteer to host one at your sports club.

If you can help, e-mail or call Paris Gourtsoyannis on 0131-248 2438.