PEOPLE living in one area of Stalybridge now have access to a community defibrillator after funds were quickly raised.
And the ‘inspiration’ behind getting the life saving device put in was seeing the shocking cardiac arrest suffered by Danish footballer Christian Eriksen during the European Championships.
Seeing the impact having a defibrillator to hand had set Elizabeth Hesketh’s mind racing, ‘Where is the one nearest to us?’And after finding out the closest device to Stalyhill was either in the town centre or Mottram, she decided something had to be done.
Now after a rapid fundraising drive actually exceeded the amount needed to get the equipment, one has been installed and registered on Stalyhill Drive.
It was installed on Thursday, September 16 and registered a day later.
“I watched it live on the TV like everyone else,” said Elizabeth, who is co-ordinator of Stalyhill Neighbourhood Watch.
“What happened in the football was definitely the inspiration. It made me think, ‘If we’ve got to get from up here to Stalybridge town centre and back to access one, we’ve no chance.’
“I saw them run on with a defibrillator and I thought, ‘Where’s ours? We haven’t got one.’“Now this one is accessible for the whole of the estate. Now emergency services know that we’ve got a defibrillator there and they give an access code to open the box.
“We wanted a good defibrillator that would last at least 10 years and as it had to be fitted outside, has to be working in all conditions and is checked regularly as it has to be working, we knew we’d need about £800.
“I asked people in the area to donate £10, we literally leafletted every house on one side of the estate and we ended up with £1,425, a stunning amount.
“That will go towards maintenance going forward and funds for a new battery, if one is needed. All that in just three weeks.”
Seeing residents raise the funds to get a defibrillator put in has inspired people to contact Elizabeth to find out how they went about the effort. Ian and Barbara Barry from the Neighbourhood Watch group were also key.
Now after deciding to place the money in the bank account of Dukinfield and Stalybridge Rotary Club – primarily so people were not asked to put directly into hers – locally-based member Dave Carter, who is also a community first responder, is willing to run training courses teaching people how to use the machine.
“He’ll show how to do CPR and also how to use a defibrillator,” Elizabeth added. “People say it’s foolproof and drives itself but people want to see it and know what they’re looking for.
“So far 53 people have come forward for that training, which we’re hopeful will take place in the hall of Stalyhill Infants School.”
The Rotary Club of Dukinfield and Stalybridge have provided or assisted in the provision of 10 defibrillators in Stalybridge and hope to see more put in.
Any residents, community or Neighbourhood Watch scheme that requires assistance in providing Defibrillator access locally may contact the Stalyhill Neighbourhood Watch group or Rotary Club for information.