Neighbourhood officers are pledging their support to two charity football matches tomorrow.
Northumbria Police staff member Daniel Baxter has organised the games in aid of North East Hearts with Goals, a charity which provides defibrillators to sporting clubs and community groups and schools across the North East.
The charity supplied Daniel’s football club, North Shields Community Christians FC, with a defibrillator after it lost one of their players, Lee Turner, aged 20, in 2009, due to a heart condition while playing in a match.
Now Daniel has arranged the footballing event to raise funds for the charity so it can continue to help other community groups.
The matches are both hosted by Seaton Delaval Amateurs FC, Wheatridge Park, in Seaton Delaval on Saturday, starting at 10.30am when North Shields Community Christians will play against Morpeth Mighty Oaks, and followed at 1pm by Seaton Delaval Amateurs v Morpeth FC.
Daniel, who is based in South Shields, said: “Losing Lee was a tragedy that is still hugely felt by his family, friends, teammates and the wider community. We are grateful to the charity for providing us with a defibrillator, which we hope will help prevent other fatalities, but we are aware that other clubs and community groups don’t have this important piece of equipment.
“We’re asking all football supporters and the wider community to get behiond us and come along to these matches to enjoy the day and support the players and the charity so more people can benefit.”
On the day there will be raffles, face painting and neighbourhood officers will be on hand to offer their support and give crime prevention advice to members of the public.
The North East Hearts with Goals charity was set up in 2013 and since then has placed more than 120 defibrillators with groups across the region.
Christine Stephenson, of North East Hearts, said: “We really appreciate the support Dan has given us. We were touched by their story and when they asked how to go around buying a defibrillator we gave them one immediately and Dan promised to do some fund-raising.
“True to his word that is exactly what he has done. We have placed 200 defibrillators and saved two lives to date.”
For more information about North East Hearts with Goals visit www.nehwg.co.uk