Dozens of ‘bleed bags’ to be distributed across county thanks to local grandmother

By Piers Meyler - Local Democracy Reporter

2nd Apr 2024 | Local News

Julie Taylor at a pub in Frinton. (Photo: LDRS)
Julie Taylor at a pub in Frinton. (Photo: LDRS)

A campaign distributing hundreds of special 'bleed bags' across Essex in the wake of a Chelmsford knife-crime murder has been given a boost from Essex County Council.

Julie Taylor – the grieving grandmother of 19-year-old Liam Taylor – has raised more than £37,000 as she devotes her life to preventing other families from suffering the same tragic loss as hers.

Liam was stabbed multiple times outside a pub in Writtle in January 2020 and died instantly.

Julie set up the Liam Taylor Legacy crowdfunding page and provided lifesaving catastrophic bleed kits to as many venues in Essex as possible.

She has already distributed about 180 of the special kits across Essex – and another 70 in other places across the UK.

Essex County Council has now pledged another 60 of the public-access specialist first aid kits – carried by Army and air ambulance crews – which include large "plasters" to seal the most severe stab wounds until help arrives.

She said as well as town centre venues – so far venues including in Chelmsford, Braintree, Basildon, Billericay and Maldon and Witham have been given the £100 kits.

But remote locations are also being covered. They are not just for knife attacks but can be used for serious road traffic collisions that may result in a life-threatening bleed.

Julie said: "We are going into the country pubs as well. I've got about 13 in Uttlesford. Being out in the sticks means it's further for the ambulance to travel. It just makes sense.

"They need to be everywhere. You can die of a catastrophic bleed in three minutes. You are not going to get anyone out in that time. Five minutes is the maximum.

"I think every premise should have them. They are for any catastrophic bleed. There could be a major accident outside. If there are on site everywhere you can't go wrong.

"I've got them in churches. They said they are prepared to use them. Anywhere that asked me I'll just take one along."

Julie recalled how she was just going to bed when she received a hysterical phone call from her daughter, screaming: "He has been stabbed. He's dead. He's been murdered."

She said: "I am still in shock today and he has been gone for three and a half years.

"I watched his murder on CCTV in court. Liam was outside the pub in the smoking area with his best friend when the car pulled in. It took 39 seconds for them to drive in. The attack lasted for 13 seconds. Liam was stabbed six times, twice through the heart, and twice through the lower back, damaging his lung and liver. On top of that, he had 28 separate injuries.

"All I could think was how terrified he was.

"The perpetrators may be in prison, but we as a family are serving a life sentence. It has broken our family. I am nearly 60 and have lived three of his lives. I am never going to see him get married, he will never give me great-grandchildren."

Julie, who now helps to train family liaison officers as a result of her experience, said: "Me being here is keeping Liam's memory alive."

A statement as part of a decision set to be made by Essex County Council deputy leader Councillor Louise McKinlay, said: "Bleed control bags are portable kits containing specialist equipment that can be used in the event of an accident or injury leading to a catastrophic bleed and are used to stem the blood loss until professional medical assistance can arrive on the scene.

"The kits have received increased public attention for helping victims of knife crime and violent crime but can also be used to address a range of other causes of injuries in public such as vehicle accidents or severe falls that lead to heavy bleeding.

"Each kit costs £100 with funding made available to provide five kits per district council area, to complement kits already available in priority areas. Identification of suitable locations in our communities and supply of kits will be undertaken by The Liam Taylor Legacy, a local charity established by the family of Liam Taylor who lost his life to knife crime in 2020.

"Funding will be made as a one-off payment to The Liam Taylor Legacy Charity."

     

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