North Ayrshire Athletics Club this week were delighted to take ownership of their own AED purchased for them by award winning company Kitchens by J S Geddes. The club approached the company who were delighted to purchase the portable unit. The club has seen record growth over the past few years and we're crowed the Scottish Athletics impact club of the year in 2015 and honoured in the Queens award for voluntary service last year. The membership has tripled and they have recently entered into a lease agreement for a new minibus to get to more events and competitions the board thought it would be essential to have a fully portable first aid capability. Kitchens by J S Geddes although based in Kilmarnock, have strong links with North Ayrshire and were really keen to get involved in the project.
A colleague of interim club president, Michael Murray, is behind the charity KM8 in Coatbridge. This charity was set up following the tragic death of 13-year-old Kieran McDade whilst training with Dunbeth Football Club in august 2016. Dunbeth coach and charity founder member, Derek Murphy, has worked tirelessly since the tragedy to promote AEDs and the charity now raise money to provide defibrillators for other football clubs. Derek said, “We are passionate about spreading the word to encourage all sports clubs to have AEDs in their first aid kits. Michael spoke to me about North Ayrshire Athletics Club, and how Kieran’s tragic death has inspired his desire to get an AED in place for the club. This shows me that the word is spreading and hopefully the units will be commonplace throughout the country before too long.”
Michael added, “There are more and more AED's in our community and we know local schools are doing a lot of good work educating youngsters in first aid. At NAAC we often using the tag line more than a club and as well as providing our members the best platform to enjoy athletics our programme such as our coach apprentice scheme is aimed at developing our young memberships skills away from just the athletics arena, as a club we feel we have a responsibility to our members and casual users to educate and take any fear factor away from using defibrillators should the worst happen. We were absolutely delighted when Kitchens by J S Geddes agreed to purchase a defib for us. We aren't aware of any other athletics clubs in Scotland owning their own equipment but we really hope that any publicity this kind donation receives will encourage other local sports clubs to follow suit as I’m sure other local businesses will want to get involved in what is a worthwhile venture. I only hope that no other families have to go through what Kieran’s have, but his death has inspired many. He gave life to others when his organs were donated and he has a true legacy that I hope will continue to spread through Scotland and beyond. It is an incredible gesture from Kitchens by J S Geddes to purchase the defibrillator for the club and we cannot thank them enough. When I first contacted the company they couldn’t have made the process any easier, it really is an extremely generous donation.”
Jim Geddes, director of Kitchens by J S Geddes attended NAAC training base to present the AED to the club. Jim said “financial restraints should not be a barrier to clubs owning defibrillators and we are delighted to help NAAC by donating this lifesaving equipment"
The club have plans to train all regular club volunteers and coaches initially followed by all athletes, then parents and any members of the wider community interested. The club have secured the services of offshore medic and AED trainer Alan Gaffney, a qualified nurse, to carry out the training. The AED supplier, Baymed Healthcare LtdEast Kilbride, have kindly offered the club use of a training unit so that the operation of the defibs can be demonstrated effectively.