At sheringham paper, norfolk uk

@ Sheringham Community Paper - Issue 129 - 26 August 2011

Sheringham launches its first publicly-accessible defibrillator during Carnival Week

After a year-long fund-raising campaign, Sheringham joins a growing list of Norfolk towns and villages that have their own publicly-accessible defibrillators (heart-starting machines). The campaign, coordinated by the Ambulance Service’s local First Responder volunteers, buys, maintains and trains the general public to use these life-saving machines that can improve the survival rate of people suffering a sudden cardiac arrest to 74%.

Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in the UK; 76,000 people die each year from it, yet with simple heart massage and prompt defibrillator use, many could survive.

Sheringham launches its first publicly-accessible defibrillator during Carnival Week 2011 Photograph: Kevin Theodore (Trustee for "Shocking Now!", one of the sponsoring charities and defibrillator trainer)

David Draper (Coordinator, Sheringham First Responders, sponsoring charity)

Angela Reith (General Manager of the Age UK Day Centre - where the new defibrillator is located).

Photo courtesey of Chris Taylor Photo

Sheringham’s first defibrillator is housed in a purpose built, key code-secured box outside the Age UK Day Centre in Cremer Street and is accessed by calling 999. Angela Reith, Manager of the Centre kicked-off the fund-raising last summer and Age UK matched her raffle ticket-selling efforts pound for pound. The First Responders gave their donations from Budgens and Sainsbury’s shoppers’ coppers.
Local charity, ‘Shocking Now!’ added their grant from the Upcher Community Partnership and has trained local people in the machine’s use. Kevin Theodore, Trustee of Shocking Now! stressed how easy the defibrillator was to use: “Once you lift the lid, a voice tells you exactly what to do. Guidance from the UK Resuscitation Council confirms that it can be used safely and effectively even without training, but we have found that some people like to feel prepared, so we are qualified to show them how it works.” Finally the electrical installation of the machine was carried out free of charge by Norwich Electrical Co Ltd.

Sheringham launches its first publicly-accessible defibrillator during Carnival Week 2011Photograph: features the aforementioned with Jason Bell (to David Draper's right - Upcher Community Partnership charity sponsor) along with staff and clients of the Age UK Day Centre.

Photo courtesey of Chris Taylor Photo

Day Centre Manager, Angela Reith, explained: “I wanted to be able to offer a high level of support and reassurance to my Day Centre’s clients. This defibrillator is so safe and simple to use and thanks to Shocking Now!, all my staff and around twenty other local members of the public are trained in its use. I can’t say we’re looking forward to using it, but feel we are completely prepared”.

If you would like to support the First Responders’ campaign for a second defibrillator in the town centre or to volunteer your time to help them, details can be found on their web site at: or leave a message on 07795 057 345.