Volunteers launch drive to save lives in Richmond

Published 30/03/2022
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According to the British Heart Foundation, in the event of cardiac arrest, every minute without CPR and defibrillation reduces the chances of survival by 10 per cent. This, along with a passion for teaching people to have the confidence to save lives has led to Richmond businessman, Lee Whitworth spearheading a campaign to put defibrillators onto the streets of the market town.
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Ex forces family man, Lee owns A&E Harmonious Compliance Training Limited with his wife, schoolteacher Alison. He is also a volunteer community responder, so he knows first-hand the importance of rapid action in the event of an emergency.

Together with the support of North Yorkshire County Council, Louise Morton from Neeps & Tatties, local businesses and residents, Lee is raising money for a newly formed charity, Heart of Richmond with the sole aim of installing as many defibrillators as possible across the town. The first unit and its cabinet have been delivered and will be installed shortly.

Lee said: “We are initially aiming to get at least three units installed, however I would love to see twenty or more in the not too distant future. The ultimate goal would be to have a unit within half a mile of all Richmond houses, enabling many more lives to be saved in the event of cardiac arrest.

“My work is dedicated to teaching people not just to save lives, but to have the confidence to do so. Having these units available means that a 999 operator can direct a caller to the nearest box, give them the access code and talk them through the process of using the defibrillator. This can quite literally mean the difference between life and death for the patient.”

Heart of Richmond’s work has been supported by Councillor Stuart Parsons of North Yorkshire County Council, who said: “There are lots of businesses taking the initiative and installing defibs on site, but there are few readily available to the public in our area. To see someone dedicating their time to fundraising and changing this is marvellous and our town stands to benefit from this greatly.”

The first unit, which was largely funded by a grant from the council, should be installed within the next few weeks and will be located on Darlington Road to service Whitefields, St Nicholas Road and Ronaldshay, and suggestions for the location of the next installation are welcome.

This project is entirely funded through donations which can be made by businesses and individuals, with details available at https://www.facebook.com/HeartofRichmondNY/.

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