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New defibrillator installed at Nouncells Cross

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A neighbourhood in Stroud has worked together to raise more than £750 to part fund a community defibrillator.  

Middle of the Hill Community Group at Nouncells Cross in Stroud, successfully secured  a grant through the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) Community Defibrillator Scheme,  and administered by London Hearts, to cover 50% of the cost of an Automated External Defibrillator  (AED) and looked to people living locally for help to raise the remaining £750. Thanks to the generosity of local people, and with the additional support of Stroud Town Council, their initial target was easily reached.  

Volunteers from the Community Group set up a Crowdfunder page and delivered over 300 leaflets  to homes in the area in an effort to raise funds. Nathan Roe, one of the volunteers from the  community group who helped lead the project said: “We are really pleased by how generous people  have been and by how much support there has been for the idea. We are very grateful to London  Hearts, the charity that provided 50% of the funding, and to all those who live nearby, as well as  further afield, who helped us reach our target and raise the remaining amount. The chances of  survival greatly increase if a person experiencing cardiac arrest has access to a defibrillator. Whilst  we hope that it will never need to be used, we did not want our community to be without one.”  

The device could not be easier to use and no specialist training is needed. As it is registered with the  National Defibrillator Network, which provides the NHS ambulance services with vital information  about defibrillators across the UK, an emergency call to 999 will result in the code to open the  cabinet being issued. Once the device is opened a recorded voice talks the user through the steps to take to help save a life.  

The Department of Health and Social Care said: “We are working on increasing the number of AEDs  in public places where they are most needed and to help save lives. Defibrillation is the only method  to treat someone in cardiac arrest. Every minute that a person in Sudden Cardiac Arrest does not  receive defibrillation, their chances of survival drop by 7-10%.”

The Community Group was able to save money on installation costs thanks to Scott Bottrill of local  Stroud electrical contractors JSE Group Services Ltd. Scott lives nearby and has installed several of  these across the Stroud District for community groups and other organisations. He kindly arranged  for installation free of charge and said: “I was really pleased to be able to help the local community  group in this way. I know what a difference early access to a defibrillator can make.”  

The defibrillator is located on the wall outside of the Community Room at Nouncells Cross, where  the community group runs its Foodhub. The site was chosen as it is covered by CCTV, is well lit,  protected from the elements, and thanks to Stroud District Council, is connected to a mains electricity supply.  

The community group is looking to recruit a small group of guardians drawn from the local  community who would be willing to help with essential regular monitoring and maintenance of the  AED and would like to hear from people who might be willing to help with that. 

Donations can continue to be made until the end of March via the crowd funder page:  www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/middle-of-the-hill-community-group and, once local AED signage is  purchased (so that people can find it clearly in an emergency) and the running costs of the device  have been covered, any additional funds collected will go towards supporting the work of the  community group. 

Middle of the Hill Community Group aims to build and support the community living in the area in  and around Nouncells Cross in Stroud. The Group runs a thriving food redistribution hub, and a  community gardening club, which are both open to all. If you would like to get involved in the work  of the community group in any way, please email contactMHCG@gmail.com or call or WhatsApp on  07707 126 628 for more information. You can find out more on Facebook @MhcgStroud  

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