Young footballers at Stocksbridge Park Steels Football Club are now much safer on match days thanks to the hard work of club members and support from funding organisations.
In November 2018 immediate access to a defibrillator at Forge Lane Sports Ground, Oughtibridge, helped ensure that Under 15 player Daniel Lowe received prompt and appropriate treatment from two nurses who were spectators and his coach after he suffered a cardiac arrest during a game. The defibrillator used on that day had been donated by the Daniel Wilkinson Foundation, and ultimately it saved Daniel Lowe’s life.
In response to this incident, club member and parent, Cheryl Dodsworth, set up an appeal to raise funds for the purchase of further devices for the Club in order to ensure every team had their own defibrillator. This appeal was further supported by other club members including junior section coach, Richard Sutcliffe, who sourced various grants for the purchase of these devices from the National Lottery's Awards for All programme and the J G Graves Charitable Trust. This has resulted in the purchase of eleven portable defibrillators for use by each of their junior squads. In addition, Park Steels have also placed two permanent devices at Deepcar St Johns Junior School and STEPS Children Centre for use by the wider community.
When asked to reflect on the impact this can have, parent and supporter of the appeal, Katie Bullock, said:
“To have every junior squad with a portable defibrillator as part of their first aid kit is a fantastic achievement. It is a result of a lot of hard work and effort from many people.”
The Club would like to thank Sam Jackson of Defibtech who has supplied the club with superb advice and support throughout the process. Also, Moya Lofthouse of Martek Lifecare has been brilliant in terms of her service and support to Katie Bullock, Richard Sutcliffe and Ian Cavanagh to enable the sourcing and placing of these defibrillators.
Richard Sutcliffe added:
“We are grateful to both the National Lottery’s Awards for All Programme and the J G Graves Charitable Trust for helping provide the latest defibrillators, as well as the Daniel Wilkinson Foundation for providing our initial kit. Everyone involved really hopes that we never need to use a defibrillator again. However, the reassurance this gives to coaches and parents is invaluable, and ultimately it could prove to be a life-saver again.”