Charity hands over 14th lifesaving unit
ACHARITY that was set up to buy just one defibrillator in memory of a late sportsman has now helped provide its 14th piece of lifesaving equipment.
The Philip Maher Foundation unveiled the latest defibrillator at Baxenden Community Cricket Club, available for public use.
The club itself had raised £850 with a series of events including a 5km run and fun day, which culminated with brave member Bryon Taylor getting his chest, back and armpits waxed.
And an additional £600 was handed over by charity founder Stuart Maher, 36, Philip’s son, to make up the full amount needed.
Stuart, from Great Harwood, began his quest three and a half years ago when Philip died suddenly from a cardiac arrest while playing five-a-side football. At his dad’s funeral he asked for donations to help buy a defibrillator for Great Harwood Cricket Club, where they were both members.
But after raising £3,000 Stuart decided to set up a charity and to make providing the equipment an ongoing legacy for his dad.
He said: “The defibrillator is the 14th the Founda- tion has been able to help provide in our local communities, all in just 40 months.
“We will keep going and have plans for number 15. Members and supporters of the club held a number of fundraising events and we were delighted to help. The support we have received, both past and continuing, is unbelievable. The original idea was to provide one, it has really spiralled.”
Philip, who died at the age of 61, was a well-known figure in East Lancashire amateur sporting circles having played as a goalkeeper for 30 years.
Although his dad was treated with a defibrillator when suffering his cardiac arrest, Stuart still realises their life-saving potential for others.
All the defibrillators he helps provide with fundraising are linked to the North West Ambulance Service’s network.
Stuart, who is chairman of Great Harwood Cricket Club and partner at solicitors Watson Ramsbottom, said: “Without doubt this is a legacy for my dad. It has been part of the family’s grieving process and given us something to focus on.
“My dad was well-loved and it keeps his name alive.
“It wasn’t possible to save him but something good has come out of it.”
Stuart Maher (right) and members of Baxenden Cricket Club unveil the defibrillator