CAMPAIGNERS raising awareness of hidden heart defects in the young following the sudden death of a well known man plan to fund the screening of more than 3,000 sixth form students.

Two years since his death of James Nicholas, friends and family have gradually cranked up their efforts in raising money for charity.

James was four days from his 22nd birthday when he collapsed and died from an undetected heart defect.

Since then loved ones have jumped out of planes, completed long distance cycle rides and ran races for Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY), a national charity that aims to screen young people for heart conditions.

In June, Rebecca Crellin raised more than £2,413 after taking part in a sponsored skydive. The 20-year-old, a close friend and colleague of James at B&M store, said: “The feeling is truly overwhelming and to have raised £2,413 in memory of someone who meant so much to me and numerous other people fills me with nothing but pride. I feel like I’ve done James proud and that along with preventing another family and friends feeling the way we have was my goal.”

Over two days in May James sister Caitlin along with fellow students and lecturers at Carmel College completed a bike ride along the Leeds to Liverpool canal and raised around £3,200.

There have also been charity nights at Ruskin Drive, which donated the room for free, and more recently James parents Kevin and Lesley took part in the 8th Annual Cry Heart of London Bridges Walk.

James' father Kevin, aged 48, said: “The key thing is to raise awareness and get people talking about this. Next year we are hoping to get students at Carmel College screened, which will cost around £3,500.

“We would like to thank everyone who has helped and donated. We also have collection boxes dotted across the town including Cafe Nero, Pizza Hut, Cafe Zinho and the Gerrard Pub."

Next month Kevin and Caitlin, 17, will be taking part in the Great North Run."