Millwall FC and its charity have installed bleed control kits providing access to life-saving first aid treatment in the event of a traumatic bleed injury.
One wall-mounted kit has been placed within The Den and another is on the neighbouring Community Trust’s Lions Centre sports facility, where it can be accessed by members of the public 24/7.
The kits were donated to the club by Mere Supplied Ltd and Matt Lane, who is on a mission to get bleed control kits placed in as many communities following the death of his father.
Mr Lane said: “I got to thinking about this a few months ago when I found my dad’s postmortem papers during a house move.
“I wanted to make a difference, my dad was stabbed many times and I’m not saying that one of these kits would have saved him, but I know the devastating impact of losing someone in this way.
“At the same time, the news is constantly full of stabbings and knife-related deaths, including in my local area.”
Matt’s story with Millwall FC
Mr Lane started his campaign after reading about a rise in knife crime in the news and because his own father was stabbed to death in front of him when he was a child.
It was just two days before his 13th birthday when he watched helplessly as his dad, Steve, was violently attacked by a gang outside their home.
Mr Lane, whose son is also a Millwall FC fan, raised money for the cabinets, while Mere Supplies donated the kits.
Through their fundraising efforts, 11 kits have already been placed in and around London and Kent, in memory of Steve, including nine schools, a pub, a business and a high street.
Mr Lane added: “Sadly, there seems to be so many stabbings taking place these days, and ambulances can’t always attend straight away, yet the first few minutes after a knife wound are vital – and if I can save just one life, then it’s worth it.
“My son and father-in-law watch matches at Millwall regularly so it was one of the locations I decided to reach out to and I’m delighted they share my passion.”
The kits were unveiled by Millwall FC players George Saville and Zian Flemming who are the team’s community ambassadors for various projects.
Millwall Community Trust provides outreach services across Lewisham and Southwark, including in health, unemployment, education and crime prevention.
Sean Daly, Millwall Community Trust chief executive, said: “We are supportive of all initiatives that keep our community safe and healthy, we have a lot of footfall within the community centre and surrounding areas, and this bleed control kit can provide that vital life-saving treatment should the worst happen.”
Developing the kits
Matt’s preferred bleed control kit is from Mere Supplies Ltd, a company founded by paramedics Kyle Raffo and Bradley Sadat-Shafai.
The pair developed the kits after realising, through 10 years of frontline emergency service, that most first aid kits aren’t fit for purpose in the event of a stabbing or other traumatic bleed injury.
Mr Raffo, who appeared in several seasons of Channel 4’s fly-on-the-wall documentary 999: On the Front Line, said: “Matt shares the same goals we do and so we are delighted to be able to support his campaign in memory of his dad in this way.
“Every minute can be one too many in the case of a catastrophic haemorrhage, without the right type of first aid, such as a tourniquet, being applied as quickly as possible.
“As paramedics, we’ve watched people die in front of us because we couldn’t get there any sooner and yet for the sake of a simple piece of kit, a life could be saved.
“We’re happy to have supported the Millwall FC and Community Trust installations and to have this life-saving equipment accessible to the community in such a prominent place.”
After hearing about Matt’s campaign, Mere Supplies decided to pledge 10 bleed control kits and training on how to use them, to his cause.
The Mere Supplies campaign, HALT (Haemorrhage control And Life-saving Treatment) is focused on equipping communities with the tools and knowledge to provide life-saving first aid, with a specific focus on rising knife crime.
They are on a own mission to halt deaths from knife crime by donating 100 kits to communities across the UK.
Kyle and Bradley want their revolutionary bleed control kits to be available in every community in the country amid record figures for knife-related homicides.
What is in the kit?
Similar in concept to defibrillator machines, the kits are designed to be used by members of the public if someone suffers a knife wound or other traumatic bleed injury.
It includes a tourniquet, haemostatic gauze, chest seal, bandages, and quick and easy ‘at a glance’ instructions.
The portable kits can be kept in buildings, cars or in cabinets attached to buildings.
Free training is available on the Mere Supplies Ltd website which Kyle and Bradley encourage as many people as possible to undertake to create an ‘army’ of trained bleed control first aiders