Lucky2bhere is set to explore the growing need for well-being support services for survivors and rescuers of Sudden Cardiac Arrest through an innovative new research project.
The charity, based on the Isle of Skye, was set up in 2001 with the aim of placing defibrillators throughout communities and delivering emergency life support training to communities across Scotland.
More than ten years later, 1000 Lucky2bhere defibrillators have been placed and more than 40,000 people have received training including in schools throughout the Western Isles and the Isle of Skye.
Through that extensive community engagement, Lucky2bhere’s community of survivors and rescuers have told them that their mental wellbeing is currently being neglected and in response to this feedback, the charity will now investigate the hidden impacts of OHCA on individuals and rescuers.
In collaboration with Save a Life Scotland, Lucky2bhere was successful in securing funding from the Ideas Fund.
The Ideas Fund is a grants programme run by the British Science Association and funded by Wellcome, which enables the UK public to develop and try out ideas that address problems related to mental wellbeing.
Working with the national CPR campaign team (Save a Life for Scotland) and the Resuscitation Research Group (RRG) at the University of Edinburgh, Lucky2bhere will pursue the research project over a period of nine months.
The project will be led by SCA survivor Michelle Macleod from Stornoway for Lucky2bhere and Lisa Macinnes, Director of Save a Life Scotland.
The nine-month project will interview ‘survivors’ and ‘rescuers’ in the Highlands and Islands; identify and document commonalities of experience; and document experiences of the impact within the wider community. The charity will then hold group sessions to discuss initial findings and bring together all participants and stakeholders to present and analyse findings and to identify currently unmet support needs.
A project report will then be compiled on key findings and recommendations will then be disseminated to stakeholders, via Save a Life Scotland and other publicity channels.
Founder of Lucky2bhere Ross Cowie said: “From our extensive work across communities over the least ten years, we know that surviving a SCA is really just the beginning. We have worked hard to increase the availability of defibrillators and provide education across schools on how to do CPR and use a defib. This continues to be a success and we know that several people’s lives have been saved due to the availability of Lucky2bhere defibs and CPR training.
“We are very grateful to the Ideas Fund for granting us funding to pursue this new project which will allow us to investigate the deeper impact of SCA and hopefully feed our findings on to those who develop services in future.”