Dripping Yarns with David Arnold – Big-hearted fans hit a fundraising Rooks bullseye!

Lewes FC Darts Competition
Lewes FC Darts Competition

I sometimes think football at non-league level is subject to a surfeit of overblown rules and regulations that can hinder and handicap the ability of a club to progress both on and off the pitch.

At Lewes we’ve always made sure we promptly comply with all new ground grading requirements.

Last season, for example, a rule came into force requiring us to install a first aid centre solely for the use of the public. Further, it needed power plus hot and cold running water.

After some initial consternation as to where such a centre could be shoehorned into an already pretty crowded ground, attention was drawn to an old ramshackle shipping container up behind the Philcox Stand. Unfortunately it had a leaky roof, no electricity and no water. However, a team of volunteers soon set to work and the rusty metal box was transformed into a perfect public first aid centre that ticked all the H&S boxes.

This week saw another major step forward on the medical front. Whilst it is not a statutory Ryman League requirement, Lewes FC decided it would be a good thing for the club to acquire an AED (Automated External Defibrillator). A defibrillator can deliver an electric current through the chest of a person suffering a heart attack. The charge is aimed at shocking the heart back into a normal rhythm.

A rapid response to a heart attack is vital; a victim needs medical help within four or five minutes to significantly improve the chances not just of survival but also post-seizure quality of life.

Having a defibrillator on hand at the Pan can only be a good thing and I congratulate the club on their initiative.

Board member Sarah Mann explains: “Our first team physiotherapist, Alan Street, liaised with the British Heart Foundation for the acquisition of the AED.

“The BHF have a scheme where they pay half the cost, in this case £400, providing that local paramedics can also have access to it in an emergency.

“As a community club we are delighted at this development. The AED is designed to be simple to use even by a layman and Alan will be giving training to anyone at the club who wants to be able to use this potentially life-saving piece of equipment.”

The matching £400 was raised by Lewes FC Supporters Club so ultimately it is the generosity of fans that has made the purchase of the AED possible. Those fans might also like to know that a further £2,000 was recently given over to the club, doubtless a very welcome gesture at a time when cash flow will have been greatly hindered by the postponement of games.

Not that the weather put paid to all sporting activity at the Pan. Last Friday night the Supporters Club organised a darts tournament held in a packed Rook Inn. Club shop

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