A community football club is well on the way to becoming ‘heartsafe’ thanks to support from the borough council and the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust (JHMT).
Sileby Town Football Club has recently gained a new public-access defibrillator to help assist if anyone has a cardiac emergency.
Charnwood Borough Council awarded £850 of funding towards the defib through its members grant scheme and a sports facilities grant. Installation costs were covered by the football club, and local heart charity the JHMT has provided an external cabinet for the defib.
Cllr Deborah Taylor, lead member for communities said: “I’m very pleased we’ve been able to support Sileby FC with the purchase and installation of a defibrillator through our grants scheme.
“Not only will the defibrillator help the football club become heartsafe, but it will also be accessible for the local community.
“I’d encourage other local sports clubs to look into the grants that are available to help them with funding an Automated External Defibrillator.”
The defib is situated on the outside wall of the football club, on Southfields Avenue, and is accessible to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Charlie Hoyes from Sileby Town said: “We plan to have training from the JHMT, including training for some residents who live very close to the site. Our members are very pleased that we now have a defibrillator and recognise the importance it could play in saving a life. The JHMT have been marvellous with their help and advice.
“We also hope the club’s steps to create a heartsafe environment will encourage other league clubs to do the same.”
Dr Mike Ferguson from JHMT said: “Any delay in starting CPR and finding a defibrillator can result in either the death or severe health impairment of someone who has collapsed. Attaching an automated external defibrillator (AED) to them gives vital information to anyone attempting to help. It is essential, where possible, that these simple-to-use AEDs are available to everyone 24 hours a day.”
Sileby Town Football Club was formed in 1952, making it one of the longest-serving teams in the Leicestershire senior league. The club has around 150 members, which includes two teams.
Charlie Hoyes said: “As a club, we believe in inclusivity and try to join in with other organisations in the village,” s. “We have held fund-raising events for charities including SANDS Utd, the MND society, Diabetes UK and Leicester Transplant Sport. We also try to help the local Scouts and Guides where we can, as well as Sileby Juniors football club.”
As well as providing free CPR and defibrillator training, the JHMT works hard to raise awareness of sudden heart deaths, helps to provide community defibrillators and runs Inspire, a local grants scheme for inspirational young people.
The charity was set up after the tragic death of Rothley teenager Joe Humphries in 2012, who died from sudden arrhythmic death syndrome (SADS) while out on a run.
To find out more about the work of the JHMT, visit www.jhmt.org.uk
For more information about the Council’s sports facilities and member grants please visit www.charnwood.gov.uk/grants