Runners help fund life-saving device for South Shields beauty spot

Pictured with the defibrillator are Gary Dunlop of South Shields Harriers, Colin Robson of South Shields Parkrun and Ash Lywood from The Bamburgh.
Pictured with the defibrillator are Gary Dunlop of South Shields Harriers, Colin Robson of South Shields Parkrun and Ash Lywood from The Bamburgh.

Runners have come together to raise the funds needed to have a vital piece of life-saving equipment installed at a South Tyneside beauty spot.

Colin Robson, event director of the South Shields Parkrun, launched the drive to raise the cash needed to buy a defibrillator last June.

Fundraiser Colin Robson from the South Shields Parkrun with the defibrillator.

Fundraiser Colin Robson from the South Shields Parkrun with the defibrillator.

The move, supported by South Shields Harriers, was taken after he discovered five people had died taking part in park runs held across the country in the last five years.

Now, after generous donations from South Shields Harriers and Asda South Shields through its green token scheme, the £1,250 was raised to fund the life-saving device, which will be stored near the Bamburgh Pub.

He said: “I have been running the South Shields Park Run for a while now, and after finding out about the statistics I thought it would be a good idea to have a defibrillator placed in an area near the finish line.

“We decided on the location as statistically, runners suffering a cardiac arrest has happened within five minutes of the finishing line. It is also near the finish of the Great North Run.”

It is estimated there are around one million visitors every year to The Leas, so this will also benefit them too as anyone at anytime could suffer a cardiac arrest.

Colin Robson

The defibrillator will be able to be accessed 24 hours a day seven-days-a-week.

In an emergency, where the defibrillator is required, people will be given a code from the ambulance service to access the device.

It is the second device to be placed in a public place after a machine was placed near to South Shields Town Hall.

Mr Robson said: “I have spoken to the National Trust and it is estimated there are around one million visitors every year to The Leas, so this will also benefit them too, as anyone at any time could suffer a cardiac arrest.”

A defibrillator is a device that gives a high energy electric shock to the heart through the chest wall to someone who is in cardiac arrest, which can be vital in saving someone’s life who is having a heart attack.

Mr Robson, from Westoe added: “The Bamburgh have been really supportive. The defibrillator has to be stored at 5C, so we have installed an electric heater within the cabinet for the winter, which the pub is providing.”

“We have received so much support for this and we are really grateful to everyone who has helped us to buy a defibrillator and cabinet to store it in.

“I’d also like to thank Andy from C&D Electricals in Commercial Road who installed the heater for free and to Mavie Maughan from Asda for their help.”

Mr Robson is now in the process of organising training sessions in the use of the device as well as general CPR.