A long-established Teesside junior football club has installed life-saving equipment following a donation by a local house builder.
Mandale Homes donated a defibrillator to TIBS FC for emergency use should any of the thriving club’s 250 young players and 32 volunteer coaches ever suffer cardiac arrest.
Community defibrillators have regularly proved to be life-savers, as the electric shock they produce allows the heart to re-establish a regular rhythm following cardiac arrest.
In the UK, around 30,000 people a year suffer a cardiac arrest away from a hospital but the chances of survival drop by around 10% for every minute that passes with defibrillation.
Based between Thornaby and Ingleby Barwick, TIBS had been looking to follow FA guidelines to purchase a defibrillator for some time but had found the £1,000-plus cost prohibitive.
But Teesside-based Mandale Homes, who are building 45 two, three and four-bedroom houses at Oak View, off nearby Cayton Drive, came to the rescue by donating the hi-tech equipment.
Shaun Heap, the club’s vice-chairman, who is also a licensed football coach, said all at the club were grateful for Mandale Homes’ generous donation.
He said: “Defibrillators are something the FA do promote because they are potential life-savers but it’s not a cheap piece of equipment for a self-funded, volunteer-led club like ours to shell out for.
“So we’re incredibly grateful that Mandale Home as a reputable local business has been so generous and supportive of our club
“Naturally, you hope you won’t ever have to use it but now we know it’s there in our clubhouse should ever there be an emergency for any of our players, volunteers or the parents and spectators.
“Nobody involved in TIBS get paid – we’re all volunteers who do it for the love of the game and because we want to give local kids an alternative to sitting in front of their game consoles or TV, so to know that Mandale Homes are also supporting the kids of Thornaby and Ingleby Barwick is very reassuring.
“As a club, we always aim to provide a safe environment for everyone involved so it’s just fantastic to have a defibrillator in place. We really do appreciate the support Mandale Homes have given us.”
Mandale’s marketing executive Caroline Graham said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have been able to help TIBS, as a major local community hub, in this way.
“There are a few myths around that defibrillators are complicated to use but we’ve bought the club a fully automatic machine that is simple and safe to use.
“We’ve also purchased pedi pads along with the defibrillator that deliver a different level of shock to younger children, so it’s a really clever machine.”
TIBS started in 1997 with one team, two coaches and no facilities. Now established members of the Teesside Junior Football Alliance, they own a clubhouse and six pitches for use by 250 players aged seven to 18.
The first families to purchase some of Mandale’s 45 new homes at Oak View moved in last week, with the development due for completion next year.