Charity funds life-saving defibrillator for Middle Nene Sailing Club

Middle Nene Sailing Club in Northamptonshire has installed a life-saving defibrillator to benefit its members and the local community thanks to a national charity.

It is the first sailing club in the country to have been awarded a defibrillator grant by RALPHH, the Robert Allen, Life Promotion & Healthy Hearts Trust. The new equipment was unveiled on Friday (3 March) by Middle Nene SC Commodore Tony Wright and Richard Allen, Chairman of RALPHH.

Mr Allen said: “It is hoped the example shown by this installation will encourage other sailing clubs to follow this national first by contacting RALPHH. We usually work with rowing clubs and this is our first connection with sailing, which we are hoping to now build on.”

Volunteer-run Middle Nene SC near Thrapston is a family-friendly club with around 300 members and is an RYA Recognised Training Centre, providing activities and courses for all ages and abilities from beginners to advanced racers. The club is based at a lake adjacent to the River Nene and the defibrillator is located on a popular route for anglers, cyclists and walkers.

Commodore Tony Wright said: “Our clubhouse is next to the Nene Way footpath and we have put the defibrillator in a location where it is accessible to the public as well as our members, so it will be an asset for both the club and the local community. A defibrillator is something you never want to use but you only need it once for it to be worthwhile and to save a life.”


The defibrillator has a secure and weatherproof case and in an emergency, a user simply has to call 999 and provide the location for an access code, then follow the instructions. Although no prior knowledge is required, the club is planning to provide training for members so everyone is confident about using it.

It costs approximately £1,500 to install a defibrillator and the club will now look after the unit going forward. The club is also looking forward to hosting its annual 8-hour charity race in June and sharing this year’s proceeds between the RNLI and RALPHH.

RALPHH was established in August 2019, to commemorate the life of Robert Allen, a former National Schools Rowing Champion, who died unexpectedly aged 35 from an undiagnosed heart condition.

Since then, RALPHH has awarded grants to rowing clubs as far afield as Sidmouth in Devon to Diss in Norfolk and the City of Chester. However, the intention of the trustees was always to assist all sport clubs, particularly those used by young people, to have an accessible defibrillator. The charity is looking to expand its work geographically in England and Wales and to other sports.

Sailing clubs interested in installing a defibrillator are invited to email Mr Allen at RALPHH here and can also find out more about the charity at To find out more about Middle Nene Sailing Club visit

Variety of boats sailing at Middle Nene Sailing Club

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