THE Isle of Wight will have its first free heart screenings organised by the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) next week.
Around 200 pupils, aged between 14 and 18, will be screened at Sandown Bay Academy on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The screenings have been arranged by Ryde resident Helen Barnes, a senior administrator at the school, in conjunction with her cousin, Claire Prosser, whose son, Tom, died suddenly from an undiagnosed heart problem aged 14 in 2007.
Helen has been fundraising for CRY ever since, via the Tom Clabburn Memorial Fund, set up by Claire, her husband, Paul, and daughter, Ellen.
The fund has raised more than £70,000 and screened around 1,000 young people, mainly in West London, where the family live.
Helen felt Sandown would be an ideal venue to screen its students, many of whom are active in sport.
CRY statistics show at least 12 young people die suddenly of previously undetected heart problems each week in the UK.
These young people are usually fit and active.
Helen said: "Following Tom’s sudden death, I have become involved in raising awareness of the work of the charity CRY. The academy students have worked hard to raise the £3,500 needed to bring CRY to the Island and I am very grateful to Tom’s Fund for sponsoring us as well.
"I hope this will encourage our students to take care of their heart and health."
Claire, who will be coming to the Island for the first day of the screenings, said: "If the screenings pick up even one person for further tests then it will have been worthwhile."