Gareth worked as a Hot End Process Operator at Knauf Insulation’s St Helens Glass Mineral Wool manufacturing plant. He passed away suddenly, aged just 40, due to an undiagnosed heart condition in January 2022.
Sean Ashall from the Knauf Insulation St Helens Plant Community Team said: “It was a huge shock when Gaz passed away. He was a popular member of the plant and was such a generous and thoughtful man.
“We knew his wife Helen was keen to increase the number of defibrillators in the local community and she had already raised the funds needed to purchase one for the local gym where Gaz trained. So, we decided to support this vital initiative by holding a 6.5km sponsored walk around Tatton Park. It was a fantastic way for us all to come together and share our memories of him and do something good for the community too. We were delighted to have raised enough money to buy two defibrillators.”
One defibrillator will be installed at the St Helens Sea Cadets Barracks in Mill Street while the second will be for use on the Pilkington’s Recs ARLFC Rugby Club grounds on Ruskin Drive.
John Rees at Pilkington’s Recs ARLFC Rugby Club said: "A massive thanks to Knauf Insulation for providing this life saving equipment for our club and to Helen Moore for signposting this to Pilks. It gives us the peace of mind to know that if the worst ever happens, we have the equipment in place needed to save lives"
Defibrillators are used to restore a normal heart rhythm when someone goes into cardiac arrest. They are vital because someone’s chance of heart attack survival rises from 6% to 74% if a defibrillator is deployed within the first three minutes. While cardiac arrest is typically associated with older people, it can happen at any age, especially if someone has an undiagnosed heart condition. So, it is important that defibrillators are stationed throughout the community.