Girls’ Brigade fundraising event for new community defibrillator in Fareham


If you look around you right now, you might see a fire extinguisher. But you may not see a defibrillator. When the 1st Fareham Girls’ Brigade leaders completed their first aid training course this year, they learned that defibrillators should be as common as fire extinguishers, cared for and readily available.

For those suffering from cardiac arrest, a nearby defibrillator is the difference between life and death. The group is excited to share that the installation of a new defibrillator in their building happened in May.

At their recent first aid course, after learning about the importance of the defibrillator, the leaders were told to check an app for their nearest one, and as a church on a busy dual carriageway – the nearest two defibrillators were a car ride away.

The Girls’ Brigade group, led by Wendy Townrow, set out to get a local defibrillator to fill in the gap and began thinking about how to ensure defibrillators are in more public spaces. The girls hosted a cake stall and gathered donations from local businesses and grants from town councillors.

“Everyone was excited to help us. As we began, we were directed to several different places in the community for support and donations and each person was thrilled to be a part of this important goal,” said Townrow.

The money raised was put into a new local defibrillator in May that closed the gap between the available defibrillators on the busy dual carriage road. The group is running familiarisation sessions to help educate others and raise awareness for the importance of local defibrillators and how to use them in an emergency.

Consultant Paramedic Mark Faulkner shared the importance of having rapid access to a defibrillator. “When someone’s heart stops beating every second counts and it’s simple skills, which can be learnt by anyone, that save lives. The importance of chest compressions and prompt defibrillation cannot be over-stated, these skills are really easy to learn and anyone can use a defibrillator. Having a defibrillator which can be rapidly accessed is completely key to saving a life if someone’s heart stops beating.”

This initiative from the Girls’ Brigade group was supported by the following people and businesses from the community who have kindly donated to the installation of this defibrillator for use: Local Councillors’ grants from the Hampshire County Council Endurance Wealth, Fairweather Marine Ltd, M&B Engineering Solutions, 1st Fareham Girls’ Brigade, Activ8 and Susan.

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