Forfar’s Strathmore Rugby Football Club has become the setting for the town’s latest lifesaving defibrillator following an award from the Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks’ (SSEN) Resilient Communities Fund.
Strathmore Sharks, the junior section of Strathmore RFC, applied to the fund to seek £2,000 of support for a defibrillator and mounting cabinet to be placed outside the Inchmacoble Park rugby club for people to use in the event of an emergency.
With more than 600 people accessing Strathmore RFC’s club facilities on a weekly basis, the top-of-the-range defibrillator is vital to improve the resilience of the club and those accessing the local area.
Strathie president Bob Baldie said: “We cannot thank SSEN enough for the donation of this piece of lifesaving equipment.
“Clearly we hope it never has to be used, but historically from experience we know this not to be the case, with an ex-club president having a heart attack following a game.
“To maximise any potential deployment of the defib, we have trained another eight volunteers in addition to our members and coaches who are already trained in its use through their occupations.
“We have posted the relevant signs to show we have a defib on the premises and have alerted community partners of the same.
“In such a rural setting, this really can make the difference.”
Strathmore Sharks currently has more than 100 boys and girls representing the club from age five to 18.
The club has strong links with the local community, hosting a number of functions and community events throughout the year.
It also sits alongside Forfar Loch, which is hugely popular with walkers and cyclists for whom the new equipment could prove a lifesaver in the event of an emergency.
Graeme Stewart, Head of region at SSEN, said: “Building resilience in the towns, cities and villages we serve is vital to helping our communities prepare for any emergency situations they may face.
“While we all hope those accessing the club facilities will never need to use the SSEN-funded defibrillator, I am glad the club is prepared by installing this lifesaving equipment and training its members in its use to make the rugby club and surrounding area a safer place.”
SSEN’s Resilient Communities Fund for 2018 is now closed for applications, and will be providing a total of £220,000 to projects in the north of Scotland, with decisions on the latest applications to be announced next month
The next round of funding will re-open in 2019, with details and advice on hos to apply available at ssen.co.uk/resiliencefund.