Last week a new Community Defibrillator was officially launched at the Elcot Lane clubhouse of Marlborough Town FC which is now shared by the Marlborough Youth Football Club. Heart issues for all participating in foorball – playing, training, or even watching is now widely recognised as a potential problem following several high profile incidents and the addition of the defibrillator will offer immediate assistance to anyone suffering a heart attack and increasing the chances of survival and recovery as quick response is one of the key factors.
The decision to install a defibrillator was made at an MYFC Committee meeting earlier in the year with an objective to site one in each of the three venues used my MYFC teams for training and playing – Elcot Lane, Salisbury Rd Recreation Ground and The Common. It was recognised that the huge differential in survival rates depends entirely on how quickly defibrillator can be deployed. Keith Marshall, MYFC U18 Coach offered to organise a feasibility study. Keith’s day job is in managing a local GP Surgery, so he was well placed to take this on board as a project.
The decision was made to site the first defibrillator at Elcot Lane, enabling not just MYFC players, staff and spectators to benefit but also those from Marlborough Town FC. The last two major MYFC events held at Elcot Lane – PEWMAR and RAMMAR attracted more than 800 people in total, very sizeable attendances so the addition of a defibrillator there would come as a welcome addition to counter the increasing statistical risk.
Keith Marshall organised a (successful) application for a community grant from the British Heart Foundation, but this still left a gap of £900 to be raised before the unit could be affixed to the Marlborough Town FC Clubhouse wall. Keith approached the other local business in that thriving area of the Marlborough business community as all would have joint access to the unit and across the summer months a total of £503 had been pledged.
One local business – Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Martial Arts and Self Defence School arranged a Seminar at their premises and raised the sum of £265, and MYFC invited owner Kevin Palmer to cut the ribbon at the launch.
MYFC would also like to thank the other business contributors: Innecto Rewards Consulting, Innov8, Marlborough Law, LN Homes and CDS Lighting. Contributions were also made directly by Marlborough Town FC and by property consultants Thomas Mae, also based nearby in Elcot Mews.
Fundraising for the second defibrillator – to be sited at the Salisbury Road Recreation Ground – is already underway and the actual unit has been sourced from the Great Bedwyn Surgery, who are in the process of updating their in house Surgery Defibrillator and have kindly agreed to donate their existing one. This will be housed in the Youth Centre thus providing valuable cover to Youth Club users and also to MYFC on training and match days.
Stuart Slater (MYFC Chair) thanked all involved in making the first of the three defibrillators accessible for all to use: “We are delighted to be able to provide the first of a number of defibs, not only for players of all ages at Elcot Lane, but also helping to cement the growing relationship between MYFC and Marlborough Town FC. It also widens the extent of relations with our community neighbours and widens the potential use of the defibs.”