LIFESAVING equipment has been donated to provide emergency care for sports teams at a century old Northwich club.

A defibrillator has been given to Winnington Park Rugby Club from Weaverham Surgery.

This small electronic device can shock the heart of a person who has stopped breathing back into a normal rhythm.

Using a defibrillator within three minutes of a cardiac arrest can improve someone's chance of survival by as much as 70 per cent.

Kerry Barton, operations manager at Weaverham Surgery, said: "We acquired a new defibrillator when our equipment broke. The manufacturer then replaced the faulty one so we had a spare one.

"We wanted to donate it to a community team. Winnington Park is close to my heart as my son Ryan, who is now 17, used to play for them."

No training is needed to operate a defibrillator. Anyone can use it as clear instructions are given once it is switched on.

Sadly, many young sportsmen across the country have suffered cardiac arrest whilst on the pitch.

In many cases, a defibrillator has made all the difference.

Kerry said: "It can and does save lives. Winnington Park caters for all ages. You don't think that people playing sport would have a heart defect. We hope that this will never have to be used but we wanted to provide it in case of an emergency."

Weaver Vale MP Mike Amesbury handed over the emergency equipment.

He said: “I was honoured to be invited to make this presentation.

“We’ve seen sadly in recent months and years that heart issues can impact anyone at any time, even people who are young or are otherwise physically fit – including high profile sportsmen and women.

“Hopefully this device is never needed, but if it is it could potentially save a life.

“Huge credit to everyone involved in making this possible.”

The surgery, which has five doctors and 7,500 patients is keen to get involved in the community.

Kerry added: "We are always seeking the views of patients and often run surveys. We want to offer support, not just healthcare.

"We can offer social prescribing to get patients involved in clubs and activities."

READ > Hundreds of pets abandoned in Cheshire over three month period

The surgery raised £160 for the Alzheimer's Society and supports Macmillan Cancer Support and various other charities.

Paul Checkley, a member of the surgery's patient participation group, said: "The surgery is very keen to support the local community. We want to raise awareness of how crucial a defibrillator is should that moment happen if it is needed to save a life."