May 2019

Withernsea High School to host cardiac screening session for young people

On Wednesday 12th June 2019, around 100 local young people will be screened by the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) thanks to the outstanding fundraising efforts of the family and friends of former Withernsea High School student Darren Uscroft who tragically died in 2015 aged just 27.

The screening, which will take place in the school's Holderness Learning Centre (Sixth Form Centre), is open to current students of the school and members of the local community who are aged between 14 and 35.   

Places are limited and must be booked in advance. Please click here to view/download a letter from the charity containing information on how to book a place.

The Uscroft family said: 'We’d like to thank everyone throughout the entire community for all their support and fundraising efforts in memory of Darren. Without them, the funding for screenings just wouldn't be possible. We are proud to be making an impact on the lives of young people in Darren’s home town and to pay a part in helping to prevent other families from experiencing the same devastating grief as we have.'

Every week, 12 apparently fit and healthy young (aged 35 and under) people lose their lives to sudden cardiac death in the UK - a statistic that is believed to be a conservative estimate. A staggering 80% of these apparently healthy young people who die from young sudden cardiac death will have shown no previous sign of heart defects until it is too late – which is why CRY believes screening is so vitally important.

An ECG test is a simple way to identify the vast majority of abnormalities that can cause sudden deaths in young people. The test is quick, non-invasive and, if necessary, a further Echocardiogram can be taken on the same day to provide further clarity or reassurance.

Chief Executive of CRY, Dr. Steven Cox, says: 'The death of a young person is heart-breaking and devastating for any family. It is therefore essential that anyone with a potentially fatal heart condition knows about it. Without this knowledge and the appropriate treatment, they could be putting their lives at risk as in 80% of cases there are no signs or symptoms. Sport itself does not actually cause sudden cardiac death but it can significantly increase a young person’s risk if they have an underlying condition. However, research carried out by CRY has also shown that a large number of these deaths will also occur when a young person is at rest or even sleeping.'

'Although screening will not identify all those at risk, in Italy, where screening is mandatory for all young people engaged in organised sport, the incidence of young sudden cardiac death has decreased by 90%. CRY now tests around 27,000 young people, aged 14-35, annually. But we still believe screening needs to be extended to all young people'

Speaking on behalf of the school, Teacher of Maths Hayley Davis commented: ‘Having seen the impact that Darren’s tragic death had on our local community, we are pleased to be able to help facilitate this vital screening session. If it detects just one cause for concern, which would otherwise have passed by unnoticed, it could potentially save a life and prevent another family from dealing with an unimaginable loss.’

The screening sessions are set to run between 9am and 3pm on Wednesday 12th June, with students who have been signed up for testing permitted to leave lessons in order to be screened. Parents/carers wishing for their child to be screened can download further information in the registration letter.

It is hoped that the school’s screening will help further raise the profile of CRY in the local community, opening the door to potential fundraising opportunities for a very worthy cause. Any members of the school community interested in helping to raise funds should contact Miss Davis via

£5000 has been raised locally thanks to the fundraising efforts of Darren’s friends and family. Family friend Kerri Dawson said: ‘A heartfelt thank you to everyone who has supported me in raising the money needed to bring this campaign to Withernsea. Your continued support will enable future screenings to be carried out in Withernsea for our up and coming 14 year olds. Please continue to support those supporting CRY.’

CRY’s screening programme is overseen by Professor Sanjay Sharma, Professor of Inherited Cardiovascular Disease and Sports Cardiology at St George’s University of London and the Medical Director of the Virgin London Marathon. Professor Sharma makes no charge for supervising the CRY screening programme and due to this support, CRY is able to subsidise the programme significantly- privately, these tests could cost hundreds of pounds.

Dr Cox adds: 'I would also like to say an enormous ‘thank you’ to everyone involved with the Darren Uscroft fundraising and for supporting our screening programme and helping us to make expert cardiac testing more accessible to young people both in Withernsea and throughout the UK.'


Cardiac Risk in the Young -
The main website of the CRY charity.

Register for the screening session -
Visit the test my heart website to register your child for the screening session. The password for the Withernsea session is contained within the parent/carer information letter below.

Letter to parents/carers - Information letter
Information on how to register a place for the screening session at Withernsea High School on Wednesday 12th June.

ABOVE: Darren Uscroft, who tragically passed away at the age of only 27 in 2015. Darren was a pupil of Withernsea High School between 1999 and 2004.