Forfar community benefits from life-saving device at Strathmore RFC thanks to resilience fund

Ross Black, Linesperson from SSEN’s Arbroath depot visits the Strathmore Sharks during their summer training camp to see how their new defibrillator will benefit the local community

Strathmore Rugby Football Club (RFC) and the local community of Forfar are benefiting from life-saving equipment thanks to an award from the Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks’ (SSEN) Resilient Communities Fund.

Strathmore Sharks, the junior section of Strathmore RFC, applied to SSEN’s resilience fund to seek £2,000 of funding for a defibrillator and mounting cabinet to be placed outside the rugby club for people to use in the event of an emergency.

With sudden cardiac arrest happening around 140,000 times a year*, making it one of the nation’s biggest killers, access to a defibrillator really can make the difference between life and death. Today, the British Heart Foundation has announced a new partnership with the NHS and Microsoft, to map all of the UK’s defibrillators, with figures showing public access defibrillators are used in less than 3% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests.

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.

Bob Baldie, Strathmore RFC Club President, said:

“We cannot thank SSEN enough for the donation of this piece of life saving 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 8 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.”

Graeme Stewart, Head of Region at SSEN, added:

“We are delighted to help the Strathmore Sharks, Strathmore RFC and wider community through our SSEN Resilient Communities Fund. 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 life-saving equipment and training its members in its use to make the Rugby Club and surrounding area a safer place.”

Strathmore Sharks currently have over 100 boys and girls representing the club from ages 5 to 18 years old. Both senior and junior sections play at Inchmacoble Park, the home of Strathmore RFC. The club has strong links with the local community, hosting a number of functions and community events throughout the year. For more information, please visit

SSEN’s Resilient Communities Fund for 2018 is now closed for applications. It is providing a total of £220,000 this year to projects in the north of Scotland, with decisions on the latest applications to be announced in September. The next round of funding will re-open in 2019, for more information, contact details and guidance on how to apply, please visit

 Strathmore Sharks And SSEN Funded Defibrillator 4

*British Heart Foundation statistics:

About the author

Van on rural road

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks

We're responsible for maintaining the electricity networks supplying over 3.7 million homes and businesses across central southern England and north of the Central Belt of Scotland. We own one electricity transmission network and two electricity distribution networks, comprising 106,000 substations and 130,000 km of overhead lines and underground cables across one third of the UK. Our first priority is to provide a safe and reliable supply of electricity to the communities we serve in Scotland and England.

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