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Kind-hearted tattoo artists install life-saving defibrillator

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Stuart McKellor with David Niven, Chair of St John Scotland Central Area, Fraser Swain, and Rob Fraser

It might not be the first place you'd expect to find a defibrillator, but a tattoo parlour in Stirling has become the latest place to install one of the life-saving devices, with the help of St John Scotland. 

Lab Monkey Tattoo raised money for the defibrillator through a fundraising day, offering customers heart tattoos in exchange for a donation. The day proved a huge success, with artists spending almost twelve hours inking various heart designs. Donations totalled £3,700 – enough to not only fund the defibrillator, but also make a further donation to St John Scotland, the local Forth Valley First Responders group, and the Blood Bikes initiative.

The idea behind getting the defibrillator came from Fraser Swain, a friend of Lab Monkey, who works full time as a paramedic.

Given his experience responding to emergency situations, Fraser knows all too well the importance of having defibrillators available in public areas, so they can be used as a moment’s notice in the event of cardiac arrest.

Lab Monkey owners Stuart McKellor (known professionally as Soap) and Rob Fraser were keen to install a defibrillator on the outside the shop in Baker Street, so it can be used for the benefit of people in the area.

Stuart said: “After hearing Fraser’s tales from the front line, we knew early access to a defibrillator can save lives, and we wanted to help provide one for the street we’re based on.”

Rob presents a donation cheque to David Niven, St John Scotland Central Area chair

Stuart thanked everyone who made the installation of the defibrillator possible: “The turnout for the Have Heart day was beyond our wildest expectations. Thank you to Zara Dickson from Blue Lass tattoo in Falkirk and Alan Proctor from Bold and Gold Art in Edinburgh for helping us out, and we have to thank everyone who came down to the shop for their heart tattoo and donated. Hopefully when they look at their tattoo they’ll know that it may help save a life one day.”

Angus Loudon, Executive Director of St John Scotland, said: “We are very pleased that we’ve been able to work with the team at Lab Monkey Tattoo to provide this defibrillator for the benefit of the community in Stirling. We’re also hugely impressed at the team’s fundraising efforts, and very grateful that they were able to make an additional donation to St John Scotland.”

As a charity dedicated to saving and enhancing life, we are working to increase the availability of Public Access Defibrillators in communities across Scotland, and welcome approaches from companies, community groups and public venues who wish to help provide one. If you would like to find out more, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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