A Warwickshire charity that specialises in training people in life-saving skills has just hit a milestone.
The Warwickshire Hearts, which trains people in the county in CPR and how to use a defibrillator, have now trained 5,000 people.
Warwickshire Hearts was launched as a charity last year after existing as a joint project between Warwick District Community First Responders, Evelyn’s Gift and Waterside Medical Centre for three years, and since then has gone from strength to strength.
In addition to responding to emergency 999 calls locally, and working to improve local cardiac survival rates the charity has provided free CPR and defibrillator training across the district.
This includes at schools, work places, Myton Hospices, Guiding, Scouts, athletics clubs, cycling clubs, Warwickshire College, Warwickshire County Council, St Michael’s Hospital, Rotary and Lions clubs.
In October, it trained over 1,000 people in just one day for Restart a Heart Day.
The efforts of the charity were recognised last year when Nick Shacklock, Chairman of Warwickshire Hearts received an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Chief Executive of West Midlands Ambulance Service for the charity’s efforts in CPR and defibrillator training.
Warwickshire Hearts are very proud of their achievements to date but believe it would not have been possible without local community support from organisations such as;
Warwickshire County Council - who provided a grant allowing mannequins books and training defibrillators to be purchased and a website to be developed,
Warwick Town Council who provided funds to buy an advanced ECG equipped defibrillator,
Leamington Town Council, who provided professional suctioning equipment
Warwick Rotary who have worked with Warwickshire Hearts to provide a defibrillator in a local school, provided 2000 key ring face shields to be given to those we have trained and have provided the funds to support the Responders in replacing two ageing defibrillators,
Warwick Lions who provided another two defibrillators,
Kenilworth Lions who donated a defibrillator and bag for two new Responders in Stoneleigh
Staff at Sainsbury’s Local who have fundraised in support of support the Charity’s response car at their Radford Road branch and now do so at Cubbington.
Whitnash Charitable Trust have provided funds to equip a new Responder in Whitnash
But this is not an exhaustive list and the charity continue to receive donations and support across the county.
Nick Shacklock, chair of Warwickshire Hearts, said: “We’re very pleased to have achieved this milestone in our training efforts and are convinced that this will make a real difference in terms of Cardiac Arrest survival in South Warwickshire. “We couldn’t operate at the level we do without the help of the community in which we all live, and we are incredibly grateful to those individuals and groups who have supported us with donations of funds and equipment over the last few years.”
Warwickshire Hearts is a voluntary organisation and has no paid staff. It relies on volunteers to deliver the CPR/AED training and to support West Midlands Ambulance Service with volunteer 999 response work.
Other First Responders and trainers have recently joined the charity allowing them to provide CPR/AED training and 999 response work in a wider area than the original Warwick District Council area.
CPR/AED training by Warwickshire Hearts is free but any donations made go towards the work of the group.
The charity receives no public funding and relies on fundraising and donations to support their work.
They are currently fundraising for equipment for their new volunteers (it costs approximately £500 to provide kit for a trained volunteer – excluding a defibrillator).
In addition, Warwickshire Hearts need to replace their 999 response vehicle in 2018, at a cost of approximately £15,000.
The vehicle is used by around 20 operational volunteers equipped with defibrillators and advanced first aid equipment who are despatched to calls (in South Warwickshire, including the towns of Warwick, Kenilworth, Leamington and Stratford) by the Ambulance Service Emergency Operations Centre.
Anyone who is able to help with fundraising or is able to donate can do so by clicking here