First aid volunteers’ goal to install defibrillator on every Thetford estate

STAFF Sharon Thompson, of First Aid Support Thetford, and Jamie Warnock, a volunteer with Thetford C

STAFF Sharon Thompson, of First Aid Support Thetford, and Jamie Warnock, a volunteer with Thetford Community First Responders, are spearheading a campaign to get a defibrillator installed on every estate in Thetford. Picture by Bethany Whymark - Credit: Archant

First aid volunteers are taking efforts to keep their community safe a step further by campaigning to get 10 defibrillators installed in their town.

The Thetford Community First Responders (CFRs) and First Aid Support Thetford (FAST) are aiming to have one of the life-saving devices installed on each of the town's seven estates.

With an estimated cost of £12,000, the groups are appealing to residents to donate as little as £1 to make a big difference to lives in their area.

Sharon Thompson, who founded youth group FAST, said it was a 'team effort' between the voluntary organisations.

'At FAST we wanted to do the defibrillator fundraising last year but did not have the time, only to find out this year that the Community First Responders wanted to do it last year as well but, for the same reasons, did not.

'They contacted us at FAST and we have decided we will attempt to get a defibrillator on every estate and in the town centre itself.

'We are going to need to raise about £12,000 – it seems like a lot, but in the grand scheme of things it is not.'

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Together the CFRs and FAST have set up a Go Fund Me page and they plan to hold fundraising events in the new year.

Mrs Thompson, a former St John's Ambulance volunteer, said: 'If every family in Thetford donated just £1, basically there is your money.

'It is the same price as a scratch card – you can gamble with your money, but would you gamble with your life?'

The CFRs will be consulting with the local authorities to get permission to install the defibrillators – two in the town centre, one on Croxton Road, and one each on the Redcastle, Pine Close, Ladies, Abbey, Nunnery, Cloverfields and Admirals estates.

Thetford CFR volunteer Jamie Warnock said: 'The statistics speak for themselves – if you can defibrillate someone quickly, survival rates go through the roof.'

To donate, go to the Defibrillators for Thetford Estates crowdfunding page.

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