A national defibrillator and CPR training scheme for grassroots football clubs has opened to new applications this week

The re-opening comes after Fabrice Muamba’s ‘thank you’ video to a small heart charity sent applications soaring to almost 4,000 for just 100 life-saving defibrillators.

The popular life-saving campaign is funded and delivered by family-run heart charity Red Sky Foundation and rolled-out by Team Grassroots - the UK’s largest independent grassroots football organisation. Successful applicants receive a free defibrillator and online CPR training for unlimited members of their club and community. The mobile defibrillators can be taken to every location where the team plays or trains, improving access for all.

The Grassroots Defibrillator Programme, which is now in its third year, has funded over 300 defibrillators to date and has trained thousands of members across more than 100 grassroots clubs. This follows the Premier League’s national campaign which gave 2,000 grassroots sites access to a defibrillator back in 2021, amongst other campaigns.

Paul Kirton, Founder of Team Grassroots, the organisation helping to deliver the campaign said:

“The demand for defibrillators at a grassroots level is testament to the awareness raised by the household names who have been affected, such as Fabrice Muamba and Christian Eriksen. The few clubs that could afford to buy one now have, and the various schemes have made many more available, but the fact that demand is still so high confirms the need for additional funding to get one in reach of every football player in the UK, at every level.”

“In the meantime, the Red Sky Foundation’s incredibly generous donation will help 100 more clubs play with confidence and give them the peace of mind knowing that life-saving equipment can be made available and used correctly, should it be required.”

Sergio Petrucci, Co-founder of Red Sky Foundation said:

“Our daughter, Luna, was given a second chance receiving specialist cardiac care when she needed it most and this is our way of helping others. Sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone of any age and grassroots clubs’ budgets often don’t allow for this type of apparatus, so we are doing what we can to help clubs access one.

“Using early CPR and defibrillation on a person in sudden cardiac arrest can increase their chances of survival from seven percent to over 75 percent so it’s vital that every club possible in the UK has access to a defibrillator via the Grassroots Defibrillator Programme.”

All defibrillators allocated to clubs via the Grassroots Defibrillator Programme are delivered alongside a free life-saving CPR and defibrillator training sessions for as many people who wish to attend, courtesy of Red Sky Foundation.

About Red Sky Foundation

Red Sky Foundation was awarded full charitable status in 2020 after being created by Sunderland couple Sergio and Emma Petrucci to give something back after their daughter Luna received life saving open heart surgery at the Children's Heart Unit in Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital. They have raised over £600,000 funding incredible state of the art cardiac machinery and equipment as well as funding a public access defibrillator project installing over 100 units and educating thousands of people of all ages in the benefits of CPR and early defibrillation. All grassroots clubs can apply online for a defibrillator at www.teamgrassroots.co.uk.