£6k boost to life-saving campaign

Brian Houston with Jamie's sister Sonia McCraw, cousin Karen Greechan and Tim Davison. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Brian Houston with Jamie's sister Sonia McCraw, cousin Karen Greechan and Tim Davison. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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A TRUST fund – set up more than 250 years ago – has pledged £6000 to buy four defibrillators for our Shockingly Easy campaign.

Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation, an endowment set up in the 18th century at a time when hospitals for the poor relied on wealthy philanthropists, is inviting community clubs to apply for the life-saving equipment.

Each of the £1500 devices will be gifted to recipients in Edinburgh, Midlothian, East and West Lothian with applications being sought from community groups who would be interested in receiving one of the kits.

The trust, which has about £80 million in its coffers, aims to improve health in Edinburgh and the Lothians by providing grants that are not normally funded through the health service.

Brian Houston, chairman of the Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation, said it was “a simple decision” to back a worthy cause.

He added: “We are committed to supporting healthier, longer lives for the people of Lothian, and it makes sense for the Health Foundation to support this campaign which seeks to place life saving defibrillators in sports centres across the region.

“We anticipate that the Lothian sports clubs which receive these four machines will already be supporting people who are keen to improve their health through changes in lifestyle including rehabilitation or prescribed exercise programmes, or people who suffer or are at risk of health ­inequalities.”

Former Hearts youth player Jamie Skinner was making his debut for Tynecastle FC when he collapsed and died after a cardiac arrest last December.

The Evening News joined forces with 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 with donors such as Scotmid and Gordon Strachan gifting defibrillators.

Individual pledges have taken the total donated to more than £16,000 – enough for about ten of the life-saving devices.

Chief executive of NHS Lothian Tim Davison said: “The family of Jamie Skinner are an inspiration, and the energy they are dedicating to placing defibrillators in clubs and community sports venues in Edinburgh is incredible. We are delighted to be able to support their amazing efforts.”

n Anyone interested in one of the defibrillators should write to the Evening News with a brief outline of the people who would use the device and why they would ­benefit