As a result of Mary’s campaign to increase access for defibrillators for grassroots football clubs the FA have confirmed that they will place defibrillators as standard in newly built FA-funded facilities.
This news comes after Mary met with James Kendall, Director of Football Development, and Phil Woodward, Facilities Lead, to discuss the FA’s plans to help grassroots football clubs have access to life-saving equipment.
The FA are working with the Premier League, who Mary also wrote to asking for clarification on the Premier League’s defibrillator rollout scheme, to offer fully funded defibrillators for clubs in steps 5 and 6 of the pyramid. Mary will be arranging a meeting the Head of Community at the Premier League in the near future to discuss the scheme further and how more clubs can benefit in the long term.
As another result of Mary’s letter and meeting, The FA are also working with their medical team to put plans in place to make Emergency First Aid a mandatory module in the refereeing qualification which would ensure that every person officiating grassroots games would be trained to react to sudden cardiac arrests.
The campaign has been previously highlighted by The Mirror where Mary noted the need for consideration of the huge costs that defibrillators are for grassroots clubs that have experienced a year of hardship like no other following league seasons being suspended and spectators effectively banned from supporting their teams during COVID.
Mary is meeting with the head of the Durham County FA, John Topping, to discuss more opportunities to apply for funding to make sure that community football clubs in the constituency have the best opportunities and facilities going forward.
If you are a volunteer or involved in running a local football club in the City of Durham, Mary would love to hear from you! Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch.