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Hermitage welcomes installation of two defibrillators

Village school and pub’s fundraising brings total life-saving heart devices to 54 across West Berks

John Herring

John Herring


01635 886633

Hermitage welcomes installation of two defibrillators

TWO life-saving devices have been installed in Hermitage.

Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are vital tools that give a high-energy electric shock to the heart through the chest wall to someone who is in cardiac arrest.

The installation is a result of a fundraising campaign by the local community and the team at Heartstart Thatcham.

Pupils at Hermitage Primary School, together with a local benefactor, raised £3,000, which has allowed the defibrillators to be placed in the village.

To recognise their efforts, scheme co-ordinator Dr Nick Young was recently invited to talk to pupils at the school.

Headteacher Peta Collicott said: “I was stunned by and also very proud of the children for the amount of money they raised from their sponsored walk for the defibrillator, which was just over £3,000.

“One pupil’s family – Bill’s – raised an impressive £500 alone.

“The presentation by Nick to the pupils really inspired the children to raise the money and do something special and important for the village community.”

Dr Young said: “Many of the pupils tried CPR and the AED.

“Many had questions and all were eager to learn about the device and to get one installed for their community.”

The second defibrillator was installed at the White Horse pub with the aid of the landlord Graham Marrs and local resident Matthew Bryne. 

The device was placed in memory of local resident Michael Early.

Mr Bryne said: “We saw the opportunity to mark the passing of a much-loved family member, who lived in Hermitage his whole life.

“We thought it would be fitting to donate the defibrillator in his memory to the village he loved so much.”

The Heartstart Thatcham team wants to see at least one defibrillator in each community and every school.

Dr Young said: “When cardiac arrest strikes, the sooner CPR is started and a defibrillator is at the scene the better the chance of survival.

“But also this is something that can happen to anyone, anytime and at any age.

“It simply does not discriminate and we want to protect the whole community and to see a community such as Hermitage where everyone comes together to make this happen is truly inspirational.”

Heartstart Thatcham urged people to learn where their nearest defibrillator is and to call 999 in an emergency.

The team will be delivering a training course in Hermitage in July and, although training is not required to use an AED, the course removes the fear of using one. 

The life-saving devices bring the total that the Heartstart Thatcham team have been directly involved with to 54 across West Berkshire.

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