Community celebrates as defibrillator installed in Wymondham eight months after campaign launch

A group from Wymondham have raised £3000 to fund a new defibrillator sited on the front wall of the

A group from Wymondham have raised £3000 to fund a new defibrillator sited on the front wall of the toilets in Market Street car park.l-r: Suzanne Nuri, Mayor Joe Mooney, Tracey Westlake, Erica Simpson of Well Pharmacy. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

A community which answered a call to raise cash for a life-saving defibrillator is celebrating after it was installed in Wymondham town centre.

A group from Wymondham have raised £3000 to fund a new defibrillator sited on the front wall of the

A group from Wymondham have raised £3000 to fund a new defibrillator sited on the front wall of the toilets in Market Street car park.l-r: Erica Simpson of Well Pharmacy, Suzanne Nuri, Mayor Joe Mooney, Tracey Westlake. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

Over the last eight months, businesses and charitable souls have raised more than £2,900 to see the kit, which will be available to the public, fitted outside the toilets in the Market Street car park.

The campaign began when an elderly woman died after suffering cardiac arrest in the town last year.

The project - which gained the backing of charity Community Heartbeat Trust (CHT), which promotes public access defibrillators - started at Wymondham Baptist Church, with several of the congregation hopping into the saddle for a sponsored bike ride.

Tracey Westlake, who led the campaign, said: 'The funds raised were more than enough for the equipment, and will also cover the cost of routine maintenance for years.

'A big thank you to everyone who gave money, time and support to this project. There was positive feedback right from the start, and a great combined effort.'

Over the following months, organisations such as Wymondham Garden Centre, Waitrose, the Co-Op, the rotary club, Wymondham Town Council and the Regal Centre Group donated to the cause, while South Norfolk Council installed the defibrillator free of charge.

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It will now be available 24 hours a day and it is hoped it will be able to save lives quickly, lessening the need to wait for an ambulance.

The CHT will arrange a seminar to teach people how to use the kit in an emergency, although Mrs Westlake said it is designed to be simple and gives verbal instructions.

In November last year, people in Attleborough raised the funds to see a defibrillator installed outside Connaught Hall, which is used by sports clubs and community groups.

The equipment, formally called an automated external defibrillator, gives a patient's heart an electric shock when they have gone into cardiac arrest.

Do you know of a community campaign to see a defibrillator installed? Let us know by emailing reporter Lauren Cope on lauren.cope@archant.co.uk