Ibstock Town Cricket Club has recently installed a new defibrillator with the support of a local heart charity.

Located prominently on the outside of the club pavilion, it is available 24/7 for anyone who needs it. Registered with East Midlands Ambulance Service, it enables the emergency call handler to initiate its use and help any available bystander follow the simple instructions and become a potential life saver.

Joe Finch, Ibstock Town Cricket Club Vice Chairman, who has been pivotal in installing the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) at their club said : “Ibstock Town Cricket Club is at the heart of the village in providing sport and social facilities, including a meeting place for a number of charities such as a local stroke club. It is great to be able to extend our support to the community by providing a defibrillator.”

This was achieved through a package of funding sources, including a very generous private donation from Mrs Janice Mee, a lifelong supporter of the club, and a Leicestershire & Rutland Cricket League AED grant for £250. The external cabinet which will keep the defibrillator safe has been funded by the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust (JHMT), a local charity which works with sports clubs and community groups to raise awareness of sudden heart deaths, particularly in young people.

The JHMT was set up in memory of Leicester teenager Joe Humphries, who in October 2012 collapsed and died while out jogging near his family home in Rothley. Joe was a victim of sudden arrhythmic death syndrome (SADS) – a group of lethal heart diseases which can cause sudden cardiac death in young people.

The Trust works tirelessly to campaign for a better understanding of sudden, unexpected death in young people, and has campaigned for compulsory CPR training in schools and defibrillators in schools, community venues and sports clubs.

Charles Poole from JHMT commented: “It is superb to see more and more sports clubs across the city and county, including cricket clubs like Ibstock Town, installing AEDs. A sudden cardiac arrest can happen at any time to anyone, anywhere, and at any age – player, umpire, spectator, family member or friend. Immediate access to an AED along with CPR gives that person the best possible chance of survival.”

Joe Finch added: “I want to personally thank Janice Mee, who has supported the club for many years, for her very kind donation and to the Leicestershire and Rutland Cricket League for their grant, which have funded the defibrillator. Having this equipment available locally could save the life of someone in the village community.”

Everards Leicestershire and Rutland Cricket League’s premier division has made it a league requirement for all premier league clubs to sign up to the Leicestershire and Rutland Heart Awareness in Cricket (HAC) partnership. As part of the requirements, all clubs must have a defibrillator at their grounds and provide CPR and defibrillator training for the membership of each club, including players, coaches and officials.

Mark Barber, Head of Community Development at Leicestershire County Cricket Club said: “It’s really pleasing to see another cricket club doing what they can to ensure a heart safe environment.  Well done to Joe and the team at Ibstock for seeing this through. We’d love to see more clubs go through this process and urge clubs to get in touch for more information and support. No obstacle should stand in the way and we can help with ideas to overcome any issues clubs may feel they have in becoming heart safe.”

To find out more about the work of the Trust, apply for training and support, or to help out with the charity’s work, visit the website at www.jhmt.org.uk and www.jhmt.org.uk/impact

You can also follow the Trust on Facebook at facebook.com/JHMTorguk and Twitter @JHMTorguk