Stroud has proven it is a community with a big heart as a campaign to install defibrillators throughout the town has hit its targets.
Five public access defibrillators have been installed in town centre locations, thanks to an initiative by Stroud Town Council.
The life-saving device, which can shock a person’s heart back into a normal rhythm if they go into cardiac arrest, will be fitted at the HSBC UK in King Street, Midcounties Co-operative Food in Slad Road, The Door Youth Project in the High Street, the Cotswold Playhouse in Parliament Street and the Cotswold Canal Trust visitors’ centre in Wallbridge.
A sixth machine has been donated to the Street Pastors by the Community Heartbeat Trust which worked with the Town Council on the project.
“Thanks to the incredible support we have had from individuals, organisations and business we have reached our target in just 10 months,” said Town Deputy Mayor Margaret Poulton.
Resident Jenny Harding worked with the Town Council to help raise the funds. As Jenny works as a Universal Banker at the HSBC UK Stroud branch, the bank match funded her efforts.
“Our previous branch manager suffered a cardiac arrest and thankfully survived, but it brought home to branch colleagues how important it is to have defibrillators available in Stroud,” said Jenny.
“We worked hard to raise almost £4,000 towards the cost of the defibrillators and raise awareness for the need for having them in the community, and are extremely proud to see them in place, including on the wall of our own branch.”
Other organisations which have donated to the campaign include: Stroud Rotary Club, Stroud Hospital League of Friends, Warehouse Nightclub, Shambles Market Association, James & Owen, Sunshine Health Shop, Stroud Chamber of Trade, J Hall & Son (Bakers) Ltd, The Retreat, SFH Sysums for Hair, Stroud Natural Health Clinic, Stroud Football League, Waitrose, Midcounties Co-op and Stroud Fire Service.
“We would encourage people to make themselves familiar with the locations of the defibrillators, so that if an emergency takes place they can make use of the life-saving machines,” said Councillor Poulton.
There is no training to use a defibrillator. When someone phones 999, they will give the caller a location and code. The machine then gives the user clear instructions.
The Town Council is organising a cardiac arrest response awareness session. A date will be announced in the next few weeks.