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Nottingham Mum nominated for Pride of Britain

28 Sep 2022




A Nottingham mum said she was driven to raise funds for defibrillators for local football clubs after what happened to Christian Eriksen. 

The Danish national team captain, Christian Eriksen, collapsed on the pitch during a Euro 2020 fixture against Finland. Players from his team rushed around the current Manchester United footballer, as he quickly received on-field medical attention.

He appeared to be up and well as he was taken off the pitch, and thanks to the quick actions of the paramedics inside the stadium his life was ultimately saved using the nearest defibrillator.

London Hearts can provide Charity Grant Funding towards the cost of a defibrillator and storage, as well as a free online training video.

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How the Christian Eriksen heart attack inspired her

Ms Vennell, who has now been nominated for a Pride of Britain Award, was shocked at how quickly Christian Eriksen was revived using the nearest defibrillator after his heart stopped beating.

Speaking to ITV News Central, Ms Vennell said: “It wasn’t the nicest thing to watch being a football fan, regardless of what team you support.

“You just hope they are fine, and thankfully he was, and he is now playing football which is great to see.

“Really, it was Christian Eriksen that made me think this needs to be sorted in the lower leagues and the grassroots clubs.”

Ms Vennell thought defibrillators should be essential at every football ground.

Her young son plays for a local team, Mapperley All Stars, and when she found out the nearest defibrillator to their club was a mile away, she set about raising funding for a defibrillator.

In just over a year, the Nottingham Forest fan has raised enough money for 25 defibrillators and defibrillator pads for grassroots clubs across Nottinghamshire.

She took to Twitter and Facebook and organised raffles, auctions and events at a local sports bar, determined to provide her club with life-saving equipment.

Ms Vennell said: “Since I’ve been fundraising, there have been quite a lot of tragedies within the grassroots family. A couple of players locally have passed away from cardiac arrest. I think they should be accessible handily instead of being in a box and having to ring for a code.

“These clubs should have them in their hands, ready to be used.”

She was spurred on to raise money towards defibrillator costs for other clubs in Nottinghamshire after being widely applauded by the football community.

How the defibrillator helps Mapperley All Stars

Speaking to ITV News Central, chairman of Mapperley All Stars, Mark Buckley, said: “It’s extraordinary; when I heard about it, I thought it would be one or two she would secure, but to get 25 for teams in Nottingham is a real achievement.

“We are mighty proud of her here at Mapperley All Stars.”

The club has 200 children who play every weekend with brothers, sisters, parents and grandparents. Having life-saving equipment on hand gives the managers and coaches peace of mind.

Mr Buckley said: “Before Amanda bought the defib, our nearest one was a mile away, so someone would have to go a mile away should anything happen; to have one on-site is massive for us.”

Funding the cost of a defibrillator

All grassroots football clubs are not for profit, so usually, equipment like this is unaffordable.

Ms Vennell said: “Every bit of money they get is already allocated, whether it’s training equipment, kits or paying for somewhere to train; all that money is accounted for, so they can’t afford to purchase these [defibrillators].”

She says she is not stopping at 25 defibrillators, as she plans to keep raising money for more, knowing they could save a life.

It’s been an honour of ours to supply life saving equipment to this cause and make local football clubs a little more heart-safe.

Start your defibrillator fundraising project today.

Save a life with a London Hearts defibrillator

We welcome applications from any individual, organisation or charity around the UK! So make sure to apply for a London Hearts defibrillator today. Also, check out our articles for all the latest on how London Hearts, the defibrillator charity, has helped support communities.

Get in touch with us today by raising an enquiry via our contact form, calling us on 020 7043 2493 or dropping us an email at info@londonhearts.org.

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