Community centre goes the extra 100 miles for new defibrillator

Staff at a community centre and the people who use it have raised their own funds to ensure that they have life saving equipment on the premises.

They have now bought a £1,000 defibrillator and are to try to bring in a second one.

Hedworthfield Community Association is based at their centre on Cornhill in Jarrow. They run a number of football teams there and have a sports hall which hosts various activities.

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Jean Barclay, left and Christine Green show off the new defibrillator with other members of the team at Hedworthfield CA.

Activities in the hall include Hed Fit, a fitness group that helps people stay in trim, tone up and lose weight. There are also gymnastics and boxer-fit sessions. So staff were keen to bring in the device.

Among the fundraising activities was a fundraising walk by centre manager Christine Green and senior receptionist Jean Barclay.

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The pair walked 100 miles in one month and were generously sponsored. Other contributions came from Michelle “Angels” Potts, who runs an alterations and sewing business from Hedworthfield, the Hedworth and Monkton Gymnastics Club and Northumbria Police.

They were also given a generous discount by London Hearts, the charity which provided the defibrillator, which is now kept at equal distance between the football pitches and the sports hall.

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The charity wants to ensure that no one is ever further than 100 metres away from a defibrillator.

Walking up to 13 miles in a day, Christine and Jean traipsed all over town and even made a few new discoveries.

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Christine said: “It was really good. We found places in Jarrow we didn’t know existed. However, it wasn’t just Jean and me fundraising.

“It’s something we’ve thought about for quite a while. It’s good to have it now that the football’s starting. Then we saw what happened with Christian Eriksen at the Euros.

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“We’ve got footballers here who are young and old. It doesn’t just happen to older people, it can happen to people at any age. We decided we definitely needed one.”

Christine and Jean would like to thank everyone who contributed. They and the team at Hedworthfield are now thinking of new ways to raise funds for a second defibrillator, which they intend to keep in the sports hall.

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