We want to inspire communities to save lives


Left to right – Michelle Brotherton (General Manager, West Mercia), John Bottamley (Chair Four ACre Trust), Sue Watkins (Trustee, Hereford and Worcester CFRs), Cliff Medlicott (Community Response Manager, West Mercia)

Monday 23rd January 2017 – 8.00am – Murray MacGregor.

A generous donation from a charitable trust could turn dozens of rural communities into lifesavers.

The Four Acre Trust is donating £50,000 towards buying additional automated external defibrillators (AEDs) for rural areas of Herefordshire and Worcestershire.  To qualify, local communities need to raise half the money and the Four Acre Trust will pay the other half.

The funding should mean up to 100 extra AEDs being available to members of the public to use in the event of someone suffering a cardiac arrest. A defibrillator is used to reset the heart so that it can start beating normally again.

A cardiac arrest is where the heart stops beating and should not be confused with a heart attack.  Every year there are over 130,000 out of hospital cardiac arrests in England.  With early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation, over 90% of those patients could be saved.  Sadly, only about 8% will be saved because it takes too long to get help.  By increasing the number of AEDs in the community, more lives can be saved.

Chair of Trustees for the Four Acre Trust, John Bothamley, said: “We generally support charities that give individuals – mainly children and young people – help in making the most of their lives.

“What better way can we help those children, their parents and friends than by helping them to save a life.  We want to get as many children and young people involved in this scheme as possible as well as their parents.

“We are here to inspire local communities who have been thinking about getting a defibrillator, to get on and do it.  It’s a straight forward process and we’ll provide half of the £1,000 funding needed.  We hope as many communities will take up the offer and we can get an extra 100 defibrillators installed as soon as possible.”

When a community comes up with the funding, they should apply to the Hereford and Worcester Community First Responder (HWCFR) Charity who will arrange for the defib to be placed in a box on the likes of a church wall, school, shop or even pub; anywhere that it can be accessed 24 hours a day.

HWCFR Charity Trustee, Sue Watkins, said: “Not only will we help the community to install the defib, we will work with West Midlands Ambulance Service to train local people in its use.  However, people should remember that you do not need to have had any training to use one.

“There are so many examples of where having a defib in a rural community has made the difference between life and death.  Even in a small village like Peterchurch, their defib has been used three times in the last 18 months.  Whatever the size of the village or town you live in, you can always benefit from having a defib available 24/7.”

West Mercia Community Response Manager, Cliff Medlicott, added: “For every minute after the heart stop beatings, your chance of survival drops by 10% so you can see how important it is that we get more defibs out into the rural communities.

“Whether you have had training or not, you can make a difference if you know where your nearest defib is.  We’d urge every local community to come together to take up this fantastically generous offer from the Four Acre Trust.”

General Manager for West Mercia with West Midlands Ambulance Service, Michelle Brotherton, said: “As someone who lives in a rural area, I have seen the value of having a defib in the community.  There are people who are alive today because there was one nearby.

“If you don’t already know how to do CPR or where your nearest defib is, what better way to start 2017 than by taking up this offer and achieving both?”

Any community or group that would like to take up the offer should contact Sue Watkins via email at sue.watkins2016@gmail.com

Mr Bothamley says the Trustees want to see communities become safer places:

he says he wants to inspire communities so that up to 100 extra defibrillators will be available in an emergency:

Mr Bothamley says that as a Charity that has helping children at the heart of its work, they want to see youngsters getting involved:

Sue says, just because it is a rural community doesn’t mean that it’s not just as vital that a defib is available:

Sue says there is always somewhere available to place a defib, however big or small a community is:

Cliff says in a cardiac arrest, time is the biggest factor so responding quickly to a cardiac arrest will save lives:

He says that whether you have been trained or not, you can make a difference and save a life:

Michelle says there is no doubt that taking up the offer could well save a life:

Michelle says the reality is that in rural areas, defibs are probably more important than in an urban area:

She says it’s not often that you get the chance to make such a big difference to your community:


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