New defibrillator cabinet for football club due to vandalism

17th February 2020 - Rachel Richards

Article taken from Biddulph Lads and Dads

Over the summer the on site defibrillator was damaged for a second time by vandals, taking it out of commission

Our great friends at AEDdonate stepped forward and found funding for a replacement cabinet for the site, and late last year it was installed again for potentially life saving community and sports use.

Massive thanks to Jamie and Chamila at AED, story that we have submitted to the Chronicle is below


During the summer (as reported in The Chronicle) vandals destroyed the outer cabinet of a critical Defibrillator cabinet at Halls Road Playing Fields in Biddulph, which is a focal point of the towns junior football scene as well as a busy recreation hotspot with a large park, tennis and 5 a side courts plus running paths on top of the 4 football pitches on site

The damage rendered the defibrillator facility out of service, and power had to be switched off due to the danger to the public

The unit itself and the defibrillator inside was donated several years back through the fundraising efforts of several volunteers, who completed the ‘Three Peaks Challenge’ involving running up the three major mountains in the UK – Ben Nevis (Scotland), Scafell Pike (England) and Snowdon (Wales) – within a 24 hour period

The team raising the funds did so in the memory of the passing of their good friend Mark ‘Eggy’ Goulding, and the funds raised were used to buy and install the defibrillator unit at Halls Road where Mark played football as a gift to the community

The vandalism was the second time in 18 months the unit had been destroyed, and having been replaced once out of the football groups funds, it was unlikely that the group could afford the £750 to replace the unit a second time

An interview with members of the football committee and fundraisers on BBC Radio Stoke as well as media coverage in the local press however saw local charity AEDDonate step forward and volunteer to support in the replacement of the cabinet, and as the football season approached the new cabinet was delivered and fitting was arranged with the local council at the Halls Road site

The device is a potentially life saving piece of equipment that is used on people going into cardiac arrest, the machine delivering an electrical shock to try and regain control of an irregular or flatlines heartbeat – medical evidence shows that survivors of cardiac arrest will have received CPR within 2 minutes, and speedy access to a defibrillator greatly increases chances of survival and recovery

No access to the equipment lessens the chances of both survival or consequences such as bran damage as the body is starved of oxygen – so having these types of critical machines available is crucial – there are several machines in town at key locations that can be access using the phone number and code on the box should they be required

Jamie Richards, Chief Executive of AEDdonate said; we saw the vandalism in the press as we’d not previously installed this site. It is really disappointing to see any defibrillator vandalised. Not only does this incur costs for the community but it also takes the defibrillator out of service until the cabinet is replaced which means this is not available for deployment by the ambulance service. At AEDdonate thankfully we have an extremely low vandalism rate. Our cabinets are fully metal, antivandal proof and with an IK10 rating for strength. It has been our pleasure to be able to support this community with a free replacement cabinet.

Simon Robinson (45), who has served on the committee of Biddulph LadsanDads and has been involved in junior football for 11 years as well as playing for 20 prior to that, suffered a cardiac arrest at home in 2016 and was resuscitated 6 times by a defibrillator while in transit to hospital

“Having been through the experience myself, its beyond any comprehension why anybody would want to destroy or damage one of these services given the lifeline they could be to anybody in the community who lives nearby or happened to be onsite during a Sunday mornings football, where we can have upwards of 500 people during the morning both playing and supporting the kids

The offer from AEDDonate, as well as their support last year in demonstrating and training a group of our managers on how to use the device, is amazing, and we thank them very much for their kindness and support to deliver this back to the community

We have moved the location of the defib on site to make it more visible, it’s a busy park and ground all week long, and hopefully lessons will have been learned given the exposure the initial damage was given and the shock and outrage in the local area

Hopefully these things never get used, but that 10 minute window to stabilise somebody in a cardiac event are super critical, and the difference between driving 2 mins to this one, or an additional 5-10 to find one elsewhere really could mean life or death, or even for a survivor brain damage and other complications for them and their loved ones

We would like to thank Jamie and Chamila at AED, they are a fantastic charity, and support lots of clubs and societies to have defibs on their walls or in prominent places and that’s a wonderful thing to do and saves many lives”


Members of Knypersley Knights u9s with the new defib


Members of Biddulph Athletic u10s including manager Ant Casewell, who was one of the original fundraisers for the defibrillator on site

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