Defibrillators collected and delivered

Defibrillators are being collected from Sunderland's amateur football network and loaned to the NHS as part of the fight against COVID-19.

The 12 defibrillators collected today (Thursday 26 March) are part of the essential medical and emergency aid kits held at local clubs and Sunderland's Football Hub network - a partnership project between the City Council, the Football Association, the Government and the Premier League.

Sunderland's three hubs - at Downhill, Ford and Washington - have all opened in the last six months but are now closed until further notice because of COVID.

Local clubs had also followed national guidelines and earlier this month suspended their fixtures until further notice.

Fiona Brown, the City Council's Executive Director of Neighbourhood Services, said: "Doors have closed for now on our football hubs and with the suspension of all amateur games, it was plain to see that this life-saving equipment could be put to other possible uses.

"It is only right and correct that that these essential medical kits are now with our colleagues at the NHS who may yet need them. Thank you to all the clubs that have taken up the appeal."

Council staff put out the appeal as an offer of support to the local NHS by tapping into the city's network of football contacts and social media. The first collection of devices was today at the council's Washington Football Hub in Stephenson Road. It opened its car park and facilities so social distancing could be followed.

Today's collected defibrillators came from:

  • Two from Leisure United (Downhill and Washington Hub)
  • Sunderland Ryhope Community Association FC
  • Washington AFC
  • Washington NSG Athletic
  • Washington United
  • Washington Village
  • Durham United
  • Willington Youth
  • South Shields FC
  • Two from Ashbrooke Sports Club.

A defibrillator delivers a high energy electric shock to the heart when a person is in a cardiac arrest. The high energy shock is the defibrillation and is a key measure in trying a save a life when there is a cardiac arrest.

The council appeal comes as partners across the city work together to offer as much support as possible to the NHS during this unprecedented time. The defibrillators will be loaned to South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, should they be needed, as part of the local NHS response to the COVID-19 pandemic.