Making the difference between life and death

Hellingly Village Hall has been earmarked
Hellingly Village Hall has been earmarked

Hellingly is to become a community of lifesavers after the village has been fitted with two public access defibrillators (PADs) and has been awarded a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training kit by the British Heart Foundation.

Hellingly Parish Council raised £1,000 through a grant from Wealden District Council to part-fund the potentially lifesaving machines and received the Call Push Rescue training kit following its successful application for a Nation of Lifesavers Community Package from the charity.

The community package contains the innovative kit which includes everything needed to learn CPR in half-an-hour. The parish council plans to run training sessions in the local community meaning everyone can become potential lifesavers. Please contact the Deputy Clerk (deputyclerk@hellingly-pc.org.uk) for further information.

The defibrillators are portable devices that can be used by a member of the public to help restart the heart when someone has a cardiac arrest. This is when the heart stops pumping blood around the body and they lose consciousness almost at once. For every minute that passes without defibrillation and CPR, chances of survival decrease by around 10 per cent. So it’s really important the people of Hellingly know both of these vital steps to help someone in an emergency.

More than 30,000 cardiac arrests happen out of hospital in the UK every year but currently fewer than one in 10 people survive. The British heart Foundation (BHF) wants to create a Nation of Lifesavers in a bid to improve these shocking survival rates. The charity is campaigning for defibrillators to be made more accessible and recognisable to the public and wants all young people to be taught CPR and PAD awareness at school.

Tracy Harper, Deputy Clerk at Hellingly Parish Council, said, “We are delighted to have raised enough money to help fund this lifesaving package.

“The defibrillator will be placed outside our Village Hall in North Street [opposite Hellingly Primary School] and outside The Kings Head Public House, Horsebridge, meaning that local people have the best chance of survival should they suffer a cardiac arrest. We’re keen to get as many people as possible trained in CPR too. We’re now working to raise money for further defibs to be placed around our community.”

Judy O’Sullivan, Assistant Programme Director at the BHF, said, “More than 30,000 people suffer a cardiac arrest outside of hospital every year but fewer than one in 10 survive. More people could be saved if more defibrillators were available in public places and if more people felt confident using them and performing CPR. We are delighted that Hellingly Parish Council has joined the BHF’s Nation of Lifesavers campaign – by making another two defibrillators available within the parish of Hellingly and teaching CPR locally. It could really be the difference between life and death.”