Long Melford defibrillator campaign smashes target of 10 devices after raising more than £18,000 over two years
A two-year campaign to expand a village’s access to life-saving equipment has delivered on its goal, after the community rallied to raise more than £18,000 to smash the project’s target of 10 new defibrillators.
Long Melford Parish Council’s Defibrillator Working Group confirmed that 12 devices are now in place around the village, accessible 24 hours a day, following a slew of donations and fundraising initiatives.
When the project began in 2019, the village had just one community defibrillator, located outside the Co-op in Hall Street.
Since then, equipment has been installed at Long Melford Cricket Pavilion, the fire station, Nethergate Brewery, Scutchers restaurant, the parish offices in Cordell Road and the Royal British Legion.
There are also new machines in Chadburn Road and Roman Way, on the Bramertons gates opposite St Catherine’s Road and within old phone boxes in High Street and Bridge Street.
Among the contributors were a team led by Helen Brabner, who raised money by making and selling face masks, and Pat Davey, who provided funds from book sales.
Donations were also provided by Project 7, the Georgian Club, the Working Men’s Club and several individuals and businesses.
Long Melford councillor John Nunn applauded all those who supported the cause, and gave special thanks to Martin Richards, of medical charity Gryphon First Aid, for sourcing the units and advising on suitable locations.
“After two years, the working group has exceeded its target to provide 10 units evenly throughout the parish,” said Cllr Nunn. “This has been achieved at no cost to the public purse.
“Through generous donations and collection boxes hosted by Long Melford businesses, over £18,000 has been raised.
“We are aware of two gaps in the current provision, in the Station Road and Westropps area, and the new Hopkins Home estate. Residents in these areas are encouraged to initiate groups to raise funds and identify suitable locations.
“It is understood these initiatives have encouraged other local parishes to establish their own projects.”
Further training sessions are set to take place once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.