Tuesday, 26 October 2021

Two more defibrillators installed

TWO more defibrillators have been installed thanks to the Millie?s dream appeal

TWO more defibrillators have been installed thanks to the Millie?s dream appeal.

One is at Harpsden village hall and the other at Leander Club in Henley.

It brings the number of life-saving devices to be installed since the appeal was launched by Sarah Roberts in September 2013 to 37.

Miss Roberts, of King?s Road, Henley, named the appeal after her eight-year-old daughter, a pupil at Rupert House School in Henley, who has a heart aAnd lung condition.

She originally aimed to raise £15,000 to equip 10 primary schools but the appeal has since raised more than £25,000 and has installed 18 in schools and other 19 in public places, including Market Place in Henley, for use by the community. Two more are due to be installed in Stoke Row.

A £1,450 community defibrillator was unveiled at Leander by club member Piers Burnell, who paid for the device.

Mr Burnell, a coroner?s officer, was joined by Miss Roberts, Millie and Leander athletes Polly Swann and Louisa Reeve, both members of the GB rowing squad.

Also present was Lord Remnant, of Wargrave, who is the appeal?s vice-patron, and Leander general manager Paul Budd and press and publicity officer Robert Treharne Jones.

Mr Burnell, the grandson of Olympic rowing gold medallist Richard ?Dickie? Burnell, also paid for the defibrillators at Market Place and Gillotts School.

He said: ?When I heard that Leander didn?t have a defibrillator I got in touch to see if I could help.

?I?ve always wanted to give something back because my grandparents used to row but I was never at their level so I couldn?t coach or anything like that. I thought a defibrillator would be fantastic because the club is world renowned and should anything happen to one of their athletes they can take immediate action.

?It?s a fantastic location because so many people of all ages and fitness levels go walking or running along the towpath. It will be well-positioned to help them as well.

?Additionally, if anything happens during the regatta it will be a nightmare getting an ambulance on the scene.?

The defibrillator at Harpsden village hall is housed in a red box on a wall and can be accessed by residents using an emergency code.

It was paid for thanks to the Millie?s Dream, Harpsden Parish Council, Oxfordshire County Council and the John Hodges Trust for Harpsden Hall.

Mrs Roberts unveiled the device along with Richard Wilson and Sarah Tipple, of the John Hodges Trust, Oxfordshire county councillor David Bartholomew and Harpsden Parish Council chairman Kester George.

Mrs Roberts said: ?The most important thing is that everyone in Harpsden knows how to use it because when someone is suffering from cardiac arrest is can be very frightening.?

The defibrillator and box cost about £1,400 and the county council donated £500.

Mr George said: ?The parish council is most grateful to our county councillor for this grant, without which we wouldn?t have been able to acquire this defibrillator.?

Miss Roberts said: ?The support we?ve had continues to be utterly amazing and Millie and I are enormously grateful. We want the appeal to carry on growing and spread to the wider network of villages around Henley.

?People have really taken it to heart but I?m surprised how many people still don?t understand that these defibrillators are for everyone.

?If you call 999, the operator will tell you where your nearest box is and you could save someone?s life. You can?t harm anyone by using it but you can if you do nothing.?

To make a donation to Millie?s Dream, visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/charities/milliesdream

Harpsden Village Hall

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