Club gives £10,000 to defibrillator appeal

ITs doors have closed but its legacy will live on through an astonishing £10,000 donation to our defibrillator appeal.

Front row, Karen Greechan, Jim Murray, Sonia McCraw and Senga Scott; back row, Shirley Mackay, Lynn McDougall and Christine Docherty. Picture: Greg Macvean

The now-disbanded Craigroyston Community Trust (CCT) has emptied its coffers to make the largest single donation to the Shockingly Easy campaign since the project kicked off in July last year.

The gesture takes the current total to around £31,000 – enough to buy 24 of the lifesaving devices.

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The news has been hailed by the family of tragic teenage footballer Jamie Skinner, who joined forces with the Evening News for the campaign which aims to install vital defibrillators in sports clubs across Edinburgh and the Lothians.

The drive was inspired by the tragic death of 13-year-old Jamie, who suffered a fatal cardiac arrest while 
playing football at Saughton in December 2013.

When Craigroyston Community Centre was closed by city chiefs in 2008, the trust team was at a loss over what to do with the funds they had accumulated for helping worthy causes in the area.

Jim Murray, former CCT chairman, said: “There was lots that needed to be done when the trust closed and eventually we got to the task of making sure the funds were given to the community. We looked particularly at giving money to smaller charities, or ones that were just starting up, that might have less money than some of the 

“JSF is a great charity for the money to go to as they do great work, particularly with football clubs which is something we used to do in the past. It was really great meeting them and everyone was really pleased about it.”

One of the first organisations to benefit from the new funds was Wardie Residents Club, in Trinity, which had a close link to the former Craigroyston Community Centre.

Jamie’s sister Sonia McCraw and his cousin Karen Greechan handed over a defibrillator this week to the centre, which hosts a range of activities ranging from nursery playgroups to bridge for pensioners.

Mrs McCraw, who is also chief executive of the Jamie Skinner Foundation, said the family was delighted with the donation.

She said: “I would like to say a huge thank you to the trust for thinking of us out of all of those other charities.

“That money will pay for around seven or eight defibrillators so this money is probably going to save someone’s life one day. It’s a huge amount of money and we are so grateful.”

Since the launch of the campaign last July there have been 75 new heart-start machines added to the life-saving map of Lothian, according to data from the Scottish Ambulance Service.

Donations have poured in from readers to pay for the vital medical kit, while teams of all kinds came forward to secure their players’ future.

There were generous financial gifts from firms such as Scotmid and the Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation, which made it possible for the charity to buy defibrillators for clubs such as Lauriston Thistle FC, Leith Athletic FC and Sighthill Bowling Club.

The CCT also made donations to a number of other worthy causes including Ratho Retreat and Drylaw Parish Church.


THE News has joined the family of Jamie Skinner in launching the Shockingly Easy campaign. We hope to ensure there is a life-saving defibrillator in every Lothian sports centre. Here’s how to help:

• Make a donation or fundraise for a defibrillator 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 host a defibrillator training session at your sports club Contact Sam Grieve at the Scottish Ambulance Service by emailing [email protected].

• Apply for funding for a device E-mail [email protected] for an application form.