In the first edition this year of Newton News we updated progress of Defibrillator coverage especially 24 hour public access units, and Newton News produced a map of all locations.

This produced further response from several people to include units that we didn’t know about.

I would ask again if you have a defib unit in your building that could be made available in a life threatening occasion during your open hours let us know. We can log it on our local map and inform the emergency services. The Ambulance service are also working with google maps to produce a national app.

Firstly we were approached by Oswald House staff as they have had a unit for three years that they told all the neighbours was available. After several meetings they generously decided to purchase and fully kit out a new 24 hour unit on a property they had on Washington Crescent as this filled a major gap in the current coverage. They also provided extra kit for existing units. The existing unit in Oswald House is also now registered on our master map. All of this was completed in five weeks.

In March, following a broadcasting on Aycliffe Radio with Amy and Phil, and several local talks with community groups, I was asked to visit and talk further to someone. The gist of this was they had been following the Defib campaign and had been prompted to help. Once again they decided to fully fund a new unit and also help Woodham Community Centre (first 24 hour unit in Aycliffe) with maintenance on their unit.

Conditions were set! The donor/donors wished to remain anonymous, but wanted the support of the campaign published to encourage others. It was also agreed that gaps in coverage, where further units should go if we wanted to achieve better coverage, had to be prioritised. School Aycliffe, with 299 homes, was isolated, had no infrastructure of pubs, shops, telephone box etc, it was therefore selected and I was asked to contact the Community Centre committee to discuss further. The fact that I had talked proudly about how quickly Oswald House had been in purchasing and fitting their unit prompted the last condition to fit the new unit in under five weeks. We did it in 20 days with great help from suppliers Martek, School Aycliffe Committee, and electrician Jon Patchett.

I would like to add my thanks for such great public community support from these two donors.

As you can see from the map coverage of 500 metre radius from a unit is getting better but we still need more.

St Mary’s Church is the next site we want to fit a unit on, and the Friends of St Mary’s have already donated £1000 to the Taylor family’s Kick it 4 Seonaid appeal. The Taylor family, in memory of their daughter, have already provided a substantial donation to the unit fitted on Neville Community Centre at Christmas. Come along to the Acorn Residents Petting Zoo day at the Leisure Centre on Saturday 27th April and help them with funding for St Mary’s unit. You can also find out about dates of free CPR and Defibrillator use awareness courses supported by GAMP Area Action Partnership.

Please contact David Sutton-Lloyd 01325 31614 for further information.