Char­ity hands over 14th life­sav­ing unit

Accrington Observer - - WHAT'S ON -

ALEX SCAPENS

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

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