Kinross Butchers Defibrillator Initiative Wins National Award

Hunters of Kinross won the Innovation Award at the UK Butchers Shop of the Year awards following the success of the ‘Butchers At The Heart of The Community’ initiative.

The initiative, which aims to place publicly accessible defibrillators outside every butcher’s shop in Scotland, was launched by Iain and Pamela Hunter after a customer died of a cardiac arrest when a defibrillator was not available.

Hunters began by placing one defibrillator outside their shop which then encouraged other local groups to install a further 8 AED’s (Automatic External Defibrillators) across Kinross-shire. 

Hunters also approached Scottish Craft Butchers & the Scottish Campaign ‘Save A Life For Scotland’ for assistance to help with the initiative & who have helped drive it to butchers across Scotland. 

After travelling around Scotland, attending regional meeting and talking to local butchers, 85 butchers have now joined the initiative, raising funds within their own communities, with 25 who have now installed AED outside their shops. The initiative also involves all staff members being CPR trained.

It is understood that 70 people a week across Scotland have ‘Out Of Hospital’ Cardiac Arrest, with only 4 of those who will return to their families. 

Although the scheme is currently only in Scotland, Pamela and her team are considering leading the charge across the entire UK. Butchers in Northern Ireland, as well as some in England, have already shown an interest to join the initiative, with further hope to encourage National Craft Butchers Members to get on board with the initiative.  

Pamela Hunter, from Hunters of Kinross, commented:

“I’m so proud of those butchers who have taken the leap and joined our initiative so far. Having 25 Defibs in High Streets across Scotland is a great start, with a further 80 to follow.

By being #CPR aware and fitting Defibrillators outside shops in communities, lives will be saved.

I’d like to continue driving the Initiative forward and encouraging the thousands of Craft butchers across the rest of the UK to do the same. It’s great to see butcher shops & communities working together. Butchers are the ‘Hearts of The Communities’, so let’s help them help their communities help save lives.

We have 85 butchers taking part in our initiative. That’s 85 High Streets which will have lifesaving equipment accessible to all in the hearts of communities. However, there are 400 Scottish Craft Butchers Across Scotland so plenty more work to be done.

We’ve been so lucky our Initiative has gained support from TV presenter Carol Smillie, local MP Luke Graham & Lord Duncan, the Under Secretary State for Scotland.  

Their support has been fantastic, helping to raise awareness & continue to support the initiative.”

While in London for the awards ceremony, the team from Hunters of Kinross were welcomed to parliament by local MP, Luke Graham, in whose constituency, Ochil and South Perthshire, Kinross lies.

Commenting, Luke Graham MP said:

“I was delighted to hear that the fantastic team at Hunters of Kinross had won this award, and to welcome them to Parliament to celebrate their success.

It is just recognition for the incredible life-saving work they have done to ensure defibrillators are available on our high streets and how butchers still are at the heart of our communities.”