The James Nicholas Foundation
Our aim is to raise as much awareness and funds as possible to enable us to provide heart screening in the local area for young people aged between 14 to 35 years old. The screening process involves a simple ECG (Electrocardiogram) taking around 5 minutes, this test enables individuals to know if they have any undetected heart conditions they otherwise would know nothing about. The activities the foundation run help us raise the funds to pay for screening days (£3500 per day (100 individuals)). All of this is done to prevent another family and group of friends suffering the loss that we have.
The James Nicholas foundation has been set up in memory of our son James. He passed away on 21st October 2012 from an undetected heart condition, 4 days before his 22nd birthday. James was a normal 21 year old living and loving life, he always had a smile on his face and was a typical 'cheeky chappy' with a large group of friends.
At least 12 young people die a week in the UK from an undetected heart condition - the majority of these deaths being preventable if testing was made available to all. We set the foundation up to help to raise awareness about this condition and fund the screening which helps prevent these unnecessary deaths. Screening has been shown to lead to an 89% reduction in sudden cardiac death.
The foundation is run by myself Lesley Nicholas & Kevin Nicholas (James' parents), our daughters and a few close family friends. To date we have held many fund raising events to raise money for local screening days. Some of these events include a 128 mile bike ride, the great north run and a 14,000ft skydive. We have put together various charity days/nights which have become an annual occurrence, these include body shop parties, golf days and charity nights in which we have tombolas/raffles and a good get together for all James' family, friends and anybody else who wishes to come by and help us with our fundraising. We also received the Pride of St.Helens Award in 2015 chosen by local companies based on our commitment and dedication to the foundation and our fund and awareness raising.
How would this funding have an impact on your community?
The funding would be put towards a screening day, this would help us to screen more individuals and potentially prevent more unnecessary deaths.
Within our community we have set up a testing days at the local college and the local rugby club (Saints RLFC)
Across the 3 screening days we have held so far, approximately 300 individuals have been screened, 12 individuals have been referred for further examination due to abnormalities showing on the ECG and ECHO screens. A further 10 people have been requested to return for screening within 12 months to monitor them due to inconclusive or inconsistent ECG screenings. These figures show that the screening is working. Despite this positive outcome, as a small foundation we have found out since 2012, that a further 4 individuals within our local community have sadly passed away due to sudden cardiac death, highlighting the importance of funding and the need for more frequent screening days.
As a foundation we started this to prevent other families and groups of friends having to go through such a devastating and unnecessary loss. If we were to be successful in gaining funding from yourselves we could potentially help detect some of these heart conditions.
"Our aim is to prevent families and friends going through the difficult times that we have had to go through. We will give it all in memory of James.
Kevin Nicholas - Father and Joint founder of The James Nicholas Foundation."