Heartfelt boost for rugby club

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A CLUB at the heart of its community has been given a healthy boost which could save lives.

Allan Glen’s Rugby Football Club has received an automated external defibrillator (AED) – which can deliver a controlled electric shock to restore a normal heartbeat after a cardiac arrest.

The Bishopbriggs club has welcomed the boost – provided thanks to a unique partnership between the Craig Hodgkinson Memorial Trust, British Heart Foundation (BHF) Scotland and the Scottish Ambulance Service.

The trust was set up to provide defibrillators to sporting venues throughout Scotland.

It is named after a 27-year-old Royal Marine who died suddenly in 2007 from an undiagnosed heart condition while playing rugby.

To date it has raised over £40,000 and, together with BHF Scotland, who have matched the sum raised, they purchased 60 AEDs which are being placed across Scotland with guidance from the Scottish Ambulance Service.

When the heart stops, every second counts – for every minute that passes, the chances of survival drop by 14 per cent.

Allan Glen’s RFC recently received an AED thanks to this partnership funding and training delivered by Scottish Ambulance Service community resuscitation development officer Vanessa White.

President Iain Smith said: “Allan Glen’s Rugby Club is delighted to accept such a vital piece of equipment. This machine could mean the difference between life and death in an emergency and will be a vital resource for our staff, players, supporters and everyone else who uses and visits the club.

“We are committed to ensure that our staff/volunteers are trained and updated in vital life- saving skills.”

John and Diane Hodgkinson, founders of the Craig Hodgkinson Memorial Trust, said: “It is our belief that it might have been possible to have saved Craig’s life had a defibrillator been available. For this reason we want to help prevent another family from suffering such a devastating loss.

“We hope that lives will be saved as a result of the defibrillators we are helping to provide around the country, and are proud to support placing this AED in Allan Glen’s RFC.”

Marjory Burns, Director of BHF Scotland, said: “My sincere thanks go to the Craig Hodgkinson Memorial Trust, and especially to John and Diane for their commitment to raising such a fantastic amount and creating a lasting and meaningful legacy for Craig.”