Families from the North East of England gathered together on Saturday 2nd May to help launch CRY’s new ’12 a week’ postcard campaign in their area of the UK. This was the fifth such regional launch of the new postcard campaign, following on from launches in the North West, Midlands, Northern Ireland and South East.
The postcard campaign is intended to highlight shocking new statistics that show the number of young people who lose their lives to the tragic condition sudden cardiac death now stands at 12 every week – a staggering 50% rise on previous estimates.*
*The new figures are based on official statistics [ONS 2006] citing the cause of sudden death among people aged 35 and under.
A poster-sized version of the emotive new postcard – featuring the photos of 12 young people from the North East region who lost their lives suddenly to previously undetected heart conditions – was unveiled at the poignant ceremony.
Dr Roberta Blackman-Woods MP (left) spoke at a lunch for CRY families prior to the launch, and again at the launch itself – along with Kevan Jones MP, long-time supporter of CRY and one-time Chair of the Cardiac Risk in the Young All-Party Parliamentary Group.
CRY supporter Kenny Bowen also spoke at the lunch (below).
The symbolic campaign (which first started in 2004 to promote the fact that 8 young deaths were, at the time, estimated every week), was recently re-launched at a national event at Westminster, supported by the charity’s latest Patron, James Cracknell OBE. Over the past 5 years, around 100,000 postcards have been requested by CRY families to raise awareness and lobby support.
It is now widely accepted that screening saves lives. CRY is committed to encouraging greater access to cardiac testing for all groups and individuals (but especially those involved in sport at ‘grass-roots’ level) to detect conditions that might otherwise go undiagnosed.
The launch of the North East postcard was held in tandem with the launch of the CRY Philips Test My Heart Tour 09 – a mobile screening tour which intends to offer free heart tests to 3000 young people aged 14 to 35.
Throughout 2009, hundreds of postcards will be distributed by CRY families and supporters to people across the North West urging them to send it back to their local MP. It is hoped the influx of postcards will encourage MPs to add their support to the campaign and join the Cardiac Risk in the Young All Party Parliamentary Group.
New postcards will be launched regularly over the course of the year, portraying victims from 12 different regions across the UK.