Defibrillator Grant for Communities available from the British Heart Foundation

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 Herefordshire Heartstart are urging more communities to purchase a defibrillator. Sadly more and more seemingly fit and healthy young people are suffering heart attacks and going into cardiac arrest.

Young Bolton Footballer Fabrice Muamba cheated death in 2011 after suffering a sudden cardiac arrest.  Without immediate CPR and the use of a defibrillator his story could have been very different.

Acting quickly when someone is in cardiac arrest and fighting for their life is crucially important.  Around 60,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the UK every year. Currently only about 10% of people survive an out of hospital cardiac arrest.

When someone goes into cardiac arrest, every minute without CPR and defibrillation reduces their chances of survival by 10%.

A cardiac arrest happens when your heart stops pumping blood around your body.  If you have a cardiac arrest, you lose consciousness almost at once.

If you witness a cardiac arrest you can increase that person’s chance of surviving by immediately dialling dial 999 and starting CPR.  If you’ve had no first aid or Heartstart training, push down hard and fast on the centre of the chest and do chest only compressions (see the Vinnie Jones advert on our website for details, though we still advise attending a Heartstart course to learn some CPR etc.

If there is a Defibrillator otherwise known as an AED (or Automated External Defibrillator) in the building send someone to get it.  Open the defibrillator box, follow the voice instructions, place the pads where the diagram shows you, press the button when the box tells you to – they really are very simple and designed so that anyone can use them.    The worst thing you can do with one, is not to use it!

A defibrillator is a portable machine that delivers an electric shock to the heart when someone is having a cardiac arrest. A defibrillator can be used to correct the heart rhythm by one or more electric shocks – these machines can be used without prior training, though training is available through the ambulance service, when community public access defibrillators are placed.  This is more to give confidence in their use.  Remember anyone can use a defibrillator.

Herefordshire Heartstart will support the Ambulance Service by giving the public the necessary Heartstart (how to save a life) training in the first instance.

The British Heart Foundation currently have a grant available to place more community public access defibrillators in public places.  The grant will part fund the cost of a defibrillator and eligible groups are asked to contribute £400 towards the cost, the BHF will fund the other half.

If you are a parish council/community group etc considering placing a defibrillator in your community, now is the time to do it whilst funding as still available.   You will need the support of the local ambulance service for this, which can be done once you’ve completed the online application.


You will also need to fund approximately another £700 for the correct box to house the defibrillator to maintain the defibrillator at the optimum temperature and keep it secure so that it is available 24/7 etc.

“I’m sure many people would give that amount of money if it saved their loved ones life!”

Defibrillators save lives “please help to support your community by putting one in place.”

“I would like to see more towns, parishes, public places, sports centres, colleges and schools fitted with this vital piece of equipment, if you’re not eligible for this grant, then I urge businesses to help support their placement by helping to provide funding.  Or for community groups to organise fundraising to get defibrillators in a lot more places and to get Herefordshire on the defibrillator map!”

Says Loraine Coleman, Co-ordinator/Project Manager for Herefordshire Heartstart

For more details go to and type in defibrillators, where you can complete an online application or email to make an enquiry.

Herefordshire Heartstart are a local voluntary organisation established in 1996 to teach the people of Herefordshire Emergency Life Support skills at Two hour Free Heartstart (how to save a life) courses.

Courses run throughout Herefordshire for any member of the public, group, business, organisation or school.

We teach how to call for help, how to deal with choking, serious bleeding, unconsciousness, heart attack and how to perform CPR.  Heartstart is an initiative of the British Heart Foundation to whom we are affiliated.  Our community scheme is not funded by the BHF and we rely on grants and donations to keep this vital service running.

For further details of public or groups courses contact Herefordshire Heartstart email or call 0845 60 60 654 Mon to Fri 9am to 12.45pm and speak to Loraine Coleman, Co-ordinator/Project Manager or visit our website:-


British Heart Foundation Grant

This grant is only available to certain groups and is not available to GP Surgeries, Dental practices, private, profit-making or commercial companies, schools or colleges (except where an additional community service is housed in a school building).

By tightening their eligibility criteria they can ensure they provide funding to organisations which are in most need and where there is there is the highest risk.

For information:-

A cardiac arrest does not always happen because you have a heart condition, severe choking and serious loss of blood can also be a cause.  This is why free Heartstart training is so important in the community to teach people the vital skills needed to keep someone alive until the emergency services arrive.

A heart attack is most commonly caused by a sudden obstruction of the blood supply to part of the heart muscle. The main risk is that the heart will stop beating.   If you think you might be having a heart attack, DON’T wait dial 999.  Remember the sooner you get help the more of the heart muscle can be saved.

They may experience central chest pain, a dull pain, ache or ‘heavy’ feeling in the chest, or a mild chest discomfort that makes the person feel generally unwell.  This may feel like bad indigestion.  This may spread to the arms, neck, jaw, back or stomach.  They may also feel light-headed, dizzy and short of breath, feel nauseous or vomit, Get them to sit down, keep them calm, don’t give them any food or drink.