Washingborough Defib installation_small (12)

A defibrillator is installed in Washingborough thanks to Lincolnshire Co-op

Thanks to its Community Champions Scheme, Lincolnshire Co-op has been able to install 18 new defibrillators over the past 18 months.

In winter 2020, the group’s colleagues, members, and customers came together to raise more than £150,000 for life saving causes through the Community Champions Scheme. Over £57,000 was donated to six local responder groups, and more than £93,000 was assigned to the purchase of new defibrillators and the maintenance of existing units. The society now looks after a total of 57 community defibrillators.

Local employee-owned electrical contractors Brook and Mayo supported the cause by offering their services for free, surveying the sites and installing the new equipment.

Each defibrillator is registered on The Circuit – an online network run by the British Heart Foundation. Currently, each of the 14 ambulance services across the UK have their own defibrillator database for their area. The Circuit brings this information together into one database, making sure that whenever and wherever a cardiac arrest happens, the people on the scene can get to the nearest working defibrillator quickly.

According to the British Heart Foundation, less than one in 10 people survive an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, but effective CPR and defibrillation can double a person’s chance of survival. As emergency service response times in rural areas can be significantly longer, many of the new defibrillators were installed in more isolated towns and villages.

Senior community co-ordinator Danielle Budworth said: “These new defibrillators are a valuable long-term investment in the health and wellbeing of the local community. Anybody could need this life-saving equipment at any moment.

“This wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of our members, colleagues, and customers, and we’re proud to be part of this progress.”

Estelle Stephenson, survival programme lead at the British Heart Foundation said: “We’re thrilled that Lincolnshire Co-op has taken the vital step of installing 18 defibrillators and registering them onto The Circuit, as well as maintaining existing community defibrillators. This ensures that ambulance services can quickly direct bystanders to a defibrillator in the event of a cardiac arrest.

“We’re urging every organisation that owns defibrillators to follow Lincolnshire Co-op’s example by registering their defibrillators on The Circuit. It could be the difference between life and death.”

Lincolnshire Co-op will maintain the defibrillators and continue to identify opportunities to invest in equipment for areas that could benefit.