Published: 20 December 2023

A North Wales man who performed CPR at the scene of an accident has raised £4,196.12 by organising a football fundraiser in aid of the Wales Air Ambulance.

Ashley Vaughan-Evans, 37, of Llanelidan, Ruthin, was inspired to organise a 24 hour football match following on from the incident, which happened while he was out running in his village.

He was one of the first people on the scene and was required to put his first aid training into practice before the emergency services took over. Fortunately, the person survived the crash, thanks to Ashley’s quick thinking.   

The 37-year-old, who works as a first aid instructor and health and safety consultant, served in the army for 14 years and has needed to use his lifesaving skills on many occasions.

In the past, he has also helped to treat a severely injured man who fell down an embankment. Ashley has come to the aid of so many people in the community, he is now regularly called by residents in the area whenever someone is injured. He is also one of the main points of contact for the defibrillator in his village.   

He said: “I usually happen to be around when incidents happen. I have taught people in the area through my job, and they will often call me in addition to the emergency services.

“When I have had to do CPR, the adrenaline kicks in and you don’t have chance to think about it. It’s rewarding knowing you have helped to save someone’s life and it is good feeling. I have had to use my first aid experience several times and it is an invaluable lifesaving skill that everyone should know.

“You don’t know when you will need it. Most people may never use it, but it can help save someone’s life.”
After performing CPR last year, he decided to get the ball rolling and organise a 24 hour football match in Ruthin Leisure Centre, which is part of Denbighshire Leisure.

He said: “It was an idea myself and a friend had for a while. After the incident it prompted me to think of a charity that everyone in the area feels strongly about so we decided to choose the Wales Air Ambulance.

“It is such a vital charity and they have attended several of the incidents that I have been to, so it felt the best charity to support.

“Denbighshire Leisure have a few centres around the area and were happy to help out and let us use the centre in Ruthin. My friends Ben Woodward and Kieran Davenport were also invaluable in helping me organise the event.

The match saw 16 people come together and play for 24 hours from 11am to 11am the following day. Many members of the public supported the team by cheering them on as well as joining in

Ashley said: “We had 16 lads who didn’t leave the site, but we opened it up to the public, who relieved them if they needed to take a break. We had a little boy who played for five hours, and he asked if he could do it again. Kieran’s cousin came down from Scotland to take part. A lot of the people who played included some of the guys who play football on a Tuesday and a Thursday. We usually have a kick about on a five aside pitch for fun and fitness. 

“We lost two lads very early on due to injury and I fractured my toe, but I carried on playing.  Throughout the night we had lots of support, with people staying until around 1am and then towards the end we had the community supporting us and cheering us on.

“It got very emotional towards the end and the original 16 players that started also finished it. We worked out that we did 130,000 steps each in total. It was so much fun and full of banter. Sally and Debra from the Wales Air Ambulance helped out a lot. Sally went out and asked some of the local food businesses if they had any food leftover at the end of the night if they would donate them to us. We had donated pizzas, kebabs, and fish and chips.

“It was a great achievement, and we are very proud of what we all accomplished. We wanted to make the event as successful we can as Wales Air Ambulance can affect everybody.”

The Charity needs to raise £11.2 million every year to provide vital 24/7 emergency air cover for those who face life-threatening illness or injuries. It is the only air ambulance charity based in and dedicated to Wales.

Debra Sima, Wales Air Ambulance’s Community Fundraiser, said: “It has been a pleasure working with Ashley and the team. Ashley worked really hard to ensure every aspect of the event was a success and their support has raised vital funds for our lifesaving service. A huge thank you to everyone involved.”