The Stephen Carey Fund was officially launched in February 2013 in memory of Stephen Carey, aged 21, who tragically died whilst playing football in July 2012.
Stephen was playing a pre season friendly match for his local village football team (Alnmouth) when he rose to head the ball, as he landed he collapsed. Despite the efforts of players, coaching staff and supporters Stephen never regained consciousness. It was later revealed that Stephen had an undiagnosed heart condition and this was likely to have been triggered during the exertions of the match.
In the months following friends and family organised a number of activities to raise funds for memorials to Stephen. At the same time contact with the North East Ambulance Service and other organisations introduced the concept of defibrillators to the group.
In February 2013, following increasing discussions and activity within the group and with third parties, the bank account for the fund was opened and the first committee formed.
The committee set the first year goal of providing free emergency first aid training to two representatives from each of the teams registered in the North Northumberland Football League and also the Morpeth Sunday League along with the provision of a free first aid kit for each team. The goal of raising funds and installing one Community Public Access Defibrillator was also set for the first year with second year target of seeing this increased to between 3 and 5 defibrillators.
Becoming a fully registered charity in September 2014 The Stephen Carey Fund significantly exceeded the goals set for the first two years providing over 45 defibrillators, the majority in cabinets and available to the public 24/7, and banking in excess of £100,000 in the same period. They have provided first aid kits to numerous organisations across the county and provided emergency life-saving skills training to thousands of individuals.