Santa bags a public defibrillator for town

Volunteer Stan Pridmore raises money for equipment
Volunteer Stan Pridmore raises money for equipment

Haverhill will be getting a new public access defibrillator thanks to a boost from festive fund raising efforts.

Money was raised by Haverhill Community First Responders and Haverhill Round Table for a public access defibrillator, which can be used by trained operatives in the community during an emergency.

The First Responders raised money on Tuesday (December 9) on a festive drive with a volunteer dressed as Father Christmas.

The money raised brought their fundraising total up to £1516.06, with the Round Table pledging to make up the difference to buy the defibrillator.

“It was quite a surprise,” said David Halsey of the Haverhill Community First Responders. “They came and saw us and offered us the money.

“They wanted to support us and they offered to help.

“Having a defibrillator available to the public will save lives and improve the chances of survival.”

Justin Friend of Haverhill Round Table, said: “We thought it would be a nice gesture.

“Any money we raise goes into a community account. Our membership has diminished dramatically over the last few years so we don’t see any point in holding on to funds if they can be doing some good in the community.

“We’re all aware that some medical services in Haverhill are few and far between. Anything we can do to help these services locally is definitely worth looking at.”

Mr Friend anticipates the Round Table will give about £500 towards the funding of the defibrillator but has said they will pay whatever it takes to reach the total amount needed.

Tuesday’s fund raiser was the latest in a series of initiatives from the first responders to raise money for life-saving equipment, with collections having taken place in Sainsbury’s and at various community events in the summer.

Both the Community First Responders and the Round Table are voluntary organisations that rely on the commitment of members.

“The Sainsbury’s collection really brought it home to us how much public support there is for us,” said Mr Halsey.

“People was what we were doing and came over and gave us money and buckets of change. That was really amazing.”