South Shields pub The Ashley gets life-saving defibrillator after fundraising effort
A popular South Shields pub is now the home of a life-saving kit thanks to fundraising efforts by a community group.
The public-access defibrillator – a device that can deliver potentially life-saving shocks to those suffering sudden heart issues – has been installed at The Ashley pub on Stanhope Road.
It came after South Shields community support group, the People’s Angels Community Interest Company (CIC), teamed up with a regional charity to help address the relatively low number of public-access defibrillators in the area.
Between April 2018 and November 2019, there were 5,710 sudden cardiac arrests recorded in the North East – with bystander CPR provided in only 1,614 cases.
"We think this could be a real asset to the community,” said Lynn Davis, founder of the People’s Angels CIC.
"I’d seen a post from Cheryl Leighton The Ashley pub’s landlady. She’d put the fundraising call out and I thought this would be great for the area.
"So I messaged her to say we’d be happy to help raise the money need to provide one. I know she’s still fundraising to get another one installed in the area.
"It would be great to have a couple in the area, as before there were none at all. If this one saves even one person’s life, then it’s priceless.”
The fundraising drive comes on the back of a series of other recent initiatives in the borough involving North East heart charity, the Red Sky Foundation.
The organisation’s tireless work in this area over the past six months has similarly seen defibrillators installed in a South Shields park and at a Boldon post office, among other public access points.
"I’m passionate about increasing the number of defibrillators in South Tyneside,” Sergio Petrucci, the founder of the Red Sky Foundation, said.
"And it’s part of our aim to work with people and organisations such as the People’s Angels in order to fulfill this goal of ours. These machines can seriously improve someone’s chances of surviving an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest - at the moment only one in 10 survive.
"Working together means we can collectively keep hearts beating - it’s as simple as that.”