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Keiran's Legacy to train pupils to save lives


By Lorna Thompson


EVERY Moray secondary pupil will be trained in lifesaving skills before they leave school thanks to a new initiative.

Local charity Keiran’s Legacy, which was set up by Gordon and Sandra McKandie following the death of their son in 2016, today announced a training link-up with Moray Council at Elgin Academy, where Keiran was a pupil.

Mrs McKandie handed over a defibrillator at a head teachers' meeting as the CPR training sessions were launched.

The charity is devoted to funding defibrillators in the area’s public places.

Moray Council made a commitment to the British Heart Foundation Scotland (BHF) earlier this year to deliver CPR training to all children and young people in Moray’s schools.

Keiran’s Legacy will now be providing this training, and BHF Scotland will provide free training kits to use in lessons. Other equipment supporting the training has been funded by the Gordon & Ena Baxter Foundation and Keiran’s Legacy.

Keiran McKandie, from Miltonduff, was 16 when he died following a collision with a car while out cycling in March 2016. Since then his family have devoted themselves to funding defibrillators across the north-east and raising awareness of CPR and defibrillation skills.

(Front from left) Margaret Stenton (Gordon & Ena Baxter Foundation trustee), Sandra and Gordon McKandie (Kieran's Legacy) and Kay Jackson (Gordon & Ena Baxter Foundation manager). (Back from left) head teachers Hugh McCulloch of Elgin High School, Kyle Scott of Elgin Academy, Trish Cameron of Milne's High School, Jan Sinclair of Forres Academy, Tricia Goodbrand of Speyside High School, Janice Simpson of Lossiemouth High School and Liz Bain of Keith Grammar School. Picture: Becky Saunderson.
(Front from left) Margaret Stenton (Gordon & Ena Baxter Foundation trustee), Sandra and Gordon McKandie (Kieran's Legacy) and Kay Jackson (Gordon & Ena Baxter Foundation manager). (Back from left) head teachers Hugh McCulloch of Elgin High School, Kyle Scott of Elgin Academy, Trish Cameron of Milne's High School, Jan Sinclair of Forres Academy, Tricia Goodbrand of Speyside High School, Janice Simpson of Lossiemouth High School and Liz Bain of Keith Grammar School. Picture: Becky Saunderson.

Keiran’s mum handed over the mannequins and training defibrillators which will be distributed to all Moray secondary schools.

She said: "As a charity, Keiran’s Legacy is committed to working across schools, communities and businesses in Moray to ensure that everyone has an enhanced chance of survival.

"Keiran’s accident demonstrated that there is a lack of knowledge and fear regarding helping someone in the event of a life-threatening situation.

"The education of young people will reduce this inability to act and become part of their normal learning.

"Keiran’s Legacy will continue to demand change for the benefit of all and to reduce the chance of other families suffering the torment of their loved one not coming home after a sudden out-of-hospital event.

"The charity is not only providing CPR training but the use of a defibrillator to all Moray secondary schools – and we aim to achieve this across all regions."

The BHF launched a campaign last year to urge every region to ensure students know the skill to create a "nation of lifesavers".

It is estimated that 3,500 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen every year in Scotland with survival reducing by 10% for every minute that passes before help arrives.

David McColgan, the BHF charity’s senior policy and public affairs manager, said the action would have lifesaving benefits.

He said: "Far too many lives are lost in this country when people suffer a cardiac arrest out of hospital, partly because too few bystanders have the expertise or confidence to perform CPR.

"Training youngsters in school will help change this."



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