North West Postcard

North West

Families from the Liverpool area and across the North West joined together to help launch a major regional campaign 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.

Cardiac Risk in the Young’s (CRY) latest pioneering cardiac screening clinic in the North West at Liverpool John Moores University was officially opened at the event (on Monday 6th April) by The Rt Hon Andy Burnham MP, Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport – who has been an active supporter of the charity since 2002. He became one of the first members of the Cardiac Risk in the Young All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) when he was still a backbencher.
A poster-sized version of an emotive new postcard – featuring the photos of 12 young people from the North West region who lost their lives suddenly to previously undetected heart conditions – was unveiled at the poignant ceremony.

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.

At the event, CRY also paid tribute to “The Gwyneth Forresters Trust” which has made a donation of £50,000 for screening to be carried out at a number of universities throughout the UK, enabling all Talent ID scholarship (TASS) athletes to be tested.
Chief Executive and Founder of the charity, Alison Cox MBE, said; “We feel – as the recorded incidence of sudden cardiac death rises – it is time to re-launch this powerful campaign in the North West to emphasise the importance of screening and that so many of these tragic cases affecting fit and healthy young people could have been prevented.”

“Our screening clinic in the North West will provide an essential and regular service for any young (35 and under) person wanting to be tested. This important clinic is an essential part of the expansion of our screening service throughout the UK.”

She added: “These 12 faces are just a ‘snap-shot’ of the problem and we need to keep up the pressure and engage support from as many MPs as possible to make sure we can prevent other families from experiencing similar tragedies. We already have strong support from MPs in the North West region – many of whom have been deeply moved by a death of a young person in their constituency and have pledged to support our ongoing work and awareness raising activity.”

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.