A life-saving device in memory of a local woman has been installed at Thatcham's Frank Hutchings Community Hall.
Heartstart Thatcham installed its eighth automated external defibrillator at the hall in Bradley Moore Square last week when the mayor of Thatcham, Sheila Ellison, cut a ribbon to mark the occasion.
The campaign to install the device received community support, including Thatcham Town Council, Greenham Common Trust, Thatcham U3A and Jenny Kingston who donated towards the scheme in memory of her mother Jennie May Layley.
Mrs Kingston said: “She left me a legacy and I felt I wanted to do something with it. She supported the British Heart Foundation throughout her life. Nick's charity is such a wonderful one to donate to and it's local and could save somebody we know.”
Scheme coordinator for Heartstart Thatcham, Dr Nick Young said that without the support of the organisations and individuals involved, the installation of the device would not have been possible.
The defibrillator will protect those using the venue along with people working and living in the surrounding area. It is available 24/7 and will be deployed by the ambulance service when necessary.
The device is designed to be used and accessed by the public, without the need for training, on a casualty in cardiac arrest.
Dr Young explained that having both Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) started as soon as possible and a defibrillator to hand significantly increases the chance of survival.
Dr Young thanked everyone involved in the project and said: “Firstly there are more AEDs to be installed including at Moorside Community Centre and Parkway Shopping but also remember cardiac arrest can happen at any time to anyone regardless of their fitness or age of that person.”
Heartstart Thatcham teach emergency life support skills, including CPR and defibrillators, on a free course.
For more information see www.heartstartthatcham.info.