Defibrillator installed in South Shields park after fundraising success

A life-saving device has been installed at a South Shields park, following a successful local fundraising campaign.
Sergio Petrucci (left), Harry McLean (centre) and local resident, Cheryl Holstrom (right)Sergio Petrucci (left), Harry McLean (centre) and local resident, Cheryl Holstrom (right)
Sergio Petrucci (left), Harry McLean (centre) and local resident, Cheryl Holstrom (right)

Usually with around 1,000 weekly visitors, Readhead Park Veterans Bowling and Social Club and the Friends of Readhead Park said it was important the park had its own defibrillator for use in emergencies.

Following a local fundraising drive and financial support from South Tyneside Council, besides help from North East heart charity, The Red Sky Foundation, the vital equipment has now been installed outside the park’s bowling club.

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The machine is stored in a secure box and is accessed by a pin number, which is given out once an emergency call is made.

Harry McLean, Treasurer of the Readhead Park Veterans’ Bowling and Social Club, expressed ‘delight’ at the news on behalf of the club.

“You always hope it will not need to be used but it is good to have it here, just in case,” he said.

The fundraising campaign received a boost through the backing of three councillors for the Westoe ward, Glenn Thompson, Sheila Stephenson and Allan West.

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Speaking on behalf of the trio, Cllr Thompson thanked all those who donated and said it was ‘very satisfying for everyone involved to see this realised’.

“This potentially lifesaving initiative will be a fantastic facility for the Westoe ward,” he added.

Resident Cheryl Holmstrom praised local fundraising efforts, saying: “I think it’s great how everyone has come together as a community to really make a difference and a positive impact.”

Residents and park users will first be given CPR training organised by Red Sky Foundation and the North East Ambulance Service.

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The Red Sky Foundation’s Sergio Petrucci said: “It’s hard to imagine but so many public places are crying out for defibrillators and with heart disease in the North East being a huge killer it’s fantastic to see people becoming aware of the importance of the life-saving machine. It is a most welcome addition to such a beautiful park.

“We’re always looking for new people to support Red Sky Foundation and now that we’ve become a key part of the Westoe community I hope it will lead to new partnerships across other areas of region so we can help to save the lives of babies, children and adults across the North East who need emergency coronary care.”

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