A north Norfolk community has rallied together to equip their town with vital life-saving equipment.

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Led by the Overstrand and District Strand Club the project to bring a Community Public Access Defibrillator (CPAD) to the town’s centre concluded with the machine being unveiled today (Monday).

The machine is housed in a purpose-built, key code-secured box outside The White Horse Inn in the High Street and is accessed by calling 999.

Owner Darren Walsgrove said they would be supplying the wall space and electricity for the CPAD - equipment which can improve the survival rate of people suffering a sudden cardiac arrest to 74pc.

He said: “There are a lot of people who come here and it’s good that they can just step outside and use the defib if it’s needed.”

Strand club member Gloria Begley helped to co-ordinate the project after being inspired by a talk from Peter Wright, an engagement officer for the East of England Ambulance Service’s Cromer and Mundesley Community First Responder (CFR) group.

She said: “Having a CPAD is brilliant for a retirement village and it’s been wonderful the way everyone in the village have pulled together.”

The CPAD has been set up and will be maintained by the CFR group who are also carrying out training for residents in how to use it. More than 30 residents have already been trained with a further 30 signed up.

North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb, who unveiled the CPAD, praised the efforts of the town as “inspirational”.

The CPAD was funded by donations from the Strand club, the Owen Dennis memorial, the Ronnie Cork legacy, the parish council, Overstrand Women’s Institute, Poppylanders, Overstrand Gardening Club and individual residents.

Millfield Primary School in North Walsham is also hoping to raise enough money to buy a defibrillator.

Dawn Price, a teaching assistant at the school has kicked fund-raising off with a seven mile sponsored walk around the Felbrigg estate.

The defibrillator and the training to use it, will cost around £1,000 and so far parents, staff and governors have pledged £320.

The school plays host to lots of other schools both throughout the school day and after school, so the defibrillator would be a life saving piece of equipment for others as well.

Mrs Price said; “I would like to thank all the people who have donated money for the sponsored walk. It is fantastic that the community has pulled together for a great cause. But we still have a way to go. If there are any businesses that would like to make a donation please contact the school. We appreciate every penny.”

● A basic life support training session will take place on June 8 at 6.30pm at The Sports Pavilion in Overstrand. For more details please call Mrs Begley on 01263 576539 or email honeyglo.bee@gmail.com.

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