Members of a lifesaving Eastbourne campaign were over the moon to be finalists at a national awards ceremony in Manchester on Friday (October 26).
The Heart Beat Campaign – which has installed more than 50 new defibrillators around town – was recognised by the Heart Safe Awards at a glittering ceremony at the Hilton.
Councillor Alan Shuttleworth – chair of the Eastbourne Defibrillator Partnership which launched the campaign – said, “Our Eastbourne Heart Beat team were really privileged to be shortlisted and to be present in the national final of the UK Heart Safe Awards alongside so many deserving achievements.
“Our defibrillator campaign goes on from strength to strength. Requests for CPR training are increasing, and more public access defibrillators are being installed.”
He continued, “These really do save lives as we have seen recently in Eastbourne and elsewhere. Thank you to everyone who has helped our Eastbourne campaign to be so successful.”
Around 350 guests from all over the country gathered for the event, hosted by Hand of Heart.
Nominees ranged from incredible community responders teams like Trossachs Search and Rescue, to BBC Radio Lincolnshire.
But everyone was blown away hearing the story of the winner of Lifesaver of the Year, Joe Rowlands.
The room was silent as it heard how 13-year-old saved his dad’s life when their kayak capsized off Anglesea.
He pulled the unconscious Paul Rowlands from the sea and gave him CPR and mouth to mouth before the RNLI arrived.
There was a standing ovation as young Joe received his award.
Candy Vaughn, from Eastbourne Homes, said, “It was a great honour to have been nominated for an award. The young lad who received the ‘Life Saver of the Year Award’ received a standing ovation (twice) for saving his Dad whilst out kayaking, it made me shed a few tears.”
Eastbourne Defibrillator Partnership is made up of a number of volunteers from organisations including Eastbourne Lions, First Responders, SECAmb, East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, Langney councillor Alan Shuttleworth and supported by this newspaper.
Its aim is to provide as many defibrillators across town as possible, and to highlight the importance of basic first aid.
• For more information about Eastbourne Heart Beat, or to take the pledge and install a defibrillator for your business or organisation, email firstname.lastname@example.org
• First Response Learning is holding a number of first aid and defibrillator training sessions at Eastbourne Town Hall, as part of the campaign.
• The sessions run from 7pm-9pm and are on: November 7 and December 12. To book a place, email: email@example.com