There have been many stories in the news about fatal heart attacks taking place on the golf course, football pitches, in schools and indeed almost anywhere. These tragic incidents led us to think, as a heart charity, what could we do to help?
The Charity Trustees then decided to allocate funds to a defibrillator programme, placing as many devices as possible in various venues in the South West, and we delivered our first to The Elfordleigh Golf and Country Club in May 2014. Since then we have placed more than 60 machines in schools, rural community centres and sporting venues.
The project has proved to be a resounding success, both increasing awareness of cardiac care within the community and reflecting a consistent attitude to public benefit at the core of the charities activities.
As well as supplying the defibrillators, we have provided training on how to use the devices in case of an emergency, and we could not have achieved any of our goals without Senior Resuscitation Nurse Sarah Dormer who has given her time free of charge to provide the training.
Our trustee David Wells, and his wife Val, have worked tirelessly to roll out the programme, delivering over 30 machines during 2016 and making multiple visits to the venues to ensure the smooth delivery of the defibrillators.
Many of the recipients of the machines have expressed their continued support for HeartSWell through ongoing fundraising events for which we are very grateful.
We are always striving to raise funds to continue our charitable work in the community. As well as providing the defibrillators, we also purchase vital cardiac equipment for hospitals in the South West, fund specialist cardiac nurses at Derriford, and provide free counselling for heart patients and their families.
Heartswell’s Charity Co-ordinator, Rachel Rainbird said “We would like to continue this important work and have ambitions to install more defibrillators this year, however, it’s a huge task and we need more volunteers to enable us to continue to deliver the programme efficiently”.
If you can help Heartswell by volunteering, they would love to hear from you. Please contact Charity Co-ordinator Rachel Rainbird on 01752 315929 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.