Five Alive Focus: Vinters FC receives EPC-UK’s third defib donation of the year

May 22, 2024

EPC-UK’s defibrillator donation programme has grown from strength-to-strength in recent years. At the beginning of 2024 we were delighted to announce that, due to 2023’s outstanding fundraising success, we would be able to donate five further sets of portable lifesaving defibrillation equipment within community sports facilities across the country.

The third of those five donations has been made to Vinters FC in Kent, where Team Coach Lucy Heathfield feels, “the equipment is proving invaluable, not only during sporting events but in various situations beyond the field.”

Helping create heart safe spaces

Vinters FC was originally formed in 1974 to give youngsters in the Maidstone area the opportunity to play football. The club is run solely by volunteers, one of which is Lucy who coaches Vinters Green U10s, a mixed team in the Maidstone Invicta Primary League.

Lucy explains that Vinters FC feels lucky to have access to a defibrillator on site, but that on many occasions when playing away, their matches take place at less fortunate grounds where there is no equivalent equipment access. 

“EPC-UK’s portable defib donation has allowed us to be prepared on all occasions,” Lucy explains. “I have observed first-hand the critical role time plays in addressing cardiac emergencies,” she says, “and how access to a defibrillator can significantly enhance the chances of surviving a cardiac arrest. I’ve had knowledge of numerous football tournaments where both players and spectators have required such facilities, underscoring the importance of their presence. Vinters FC’s access to an additional, portable defibrillator will alleviate a considerable amount of anxiety, stress and concern should our team ever encounter a scenario necessitating its use.”

Raising funds ‘the EPC way’

Money to fund our defibrillator donation programme is primarily generated through our annual EPC-UK Charity Golf Day. This year the event will take place on Thursday 5th September, places for which are now ready to reserve. As a friend of the Vinters FC team, Golf Day event organiser and EPC-UK Head of Human Resources, Julie Wootton had a personal connection with the most recent donation. She said, “It’s wonderful to hear that Lucy, the children and their families feel reassured that they can play the game they all love knowing ‘heart safe space’ facilities are available for them, at any game, in any place and at any time, which is exactly what our programme intends to assure.

If you’d like to sign up to play at this year’s EPC-UK Golf Day or wish to nominate your local school or sports facility to receive a defibrillator and training, please email: Julie.Wootton@epc-groupe.co.uk for further information.

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