Longridge Gymnastics Club awarded defibrillator

Helen Walker, Paula Hardman of NWAS, Katharine Woods, Hannah McCormick, Sheila Hanson and Laura Brass
Helen Walker, Paula Hardman of NWAS, Katharine Woods, Hannah McCormick, Sheila Hanson and Laura Brass

Volunteer coaching staff at Longridge Gymnastics Club have this week received training to use the new defibrillator awarded to the club by the charity SADS UK - the Sudden Adult Death Trust.

Fundraising for the unit was started earlier in the year following an incident involving one of the club gymnasts.

Members also had instruction on how a defibrillator was instrumental in saving the life of Bolton Wanderers player Fabrice Muamba.

A defibrillator is a machine that delivers an electric shock to the heart when someone is having a cardiac arrest. When a patient goes into cardiac arrest, every minute without CPR and defibrillation reduces their chances of survival by 10 per cent.

An early donation of £275 by Skretting, of Shay Lane in Longridge got the fundraising off to a good start.

However, it was one of the gymnast parents, a paramedic for North West Ambulance Service, enquiring about the cost to purchase a defibrillator via the Chain of Survival Co-ordinator for Cumbria and Lancashire area Cheryl Pickstock, that led to the club being put in touch in with SADS UK, who NWAS had been working closely with.

Funds were raised to purchase AED’s, following the Staying Alive Ball, organised by the Chain of Survival team for SADS UK and the British Heart Foundation. Cheryl was asked to suggest suitable recipients for the AED and named Longridge Gymnastics Club as she had already been approached and made aware of the circumstances.

Ann Jolly of SADS UK said: “Longridge Gym Club were just what we were looking for: a voluntary organisation serving over 300 children in the local community. We hope the circumstances will not arise where the club will have to use it, however when a person is suffering a cardiac arrest they lose consciousness immediately. Access to a defibrillator and a trained user means that the life saving actions can be administered.”