Saturday, 04 July 2020

Now for the 100 mark

Now for the 100 mark

MILLIE’S Dream now wants to reach 100 defibrillators in the community.

Sarah Roberts, who founded the appeal, says there are still areas in and around Henley that are not covered and desperately need devices.

These include the “Top Shops” in Greys Road, Valley Road, Tesco and the Reading Road area as well as northern Harpsden and Satwell.

Ms Roberts said: “It’s onwards and upwards, we’re hoping to reach 100. There’s still holes in the community so please don’t stop supporting us.

“I thought we were going to struggle for those first 10 so the fact that we’re now talking about 100 is fantastic.”

She devised the charity after footballer Fabrice Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest while playing in a match for Bolton Wanderers in 2012 and she began to worry what would happen if her daughter Millie, who has a heart and lung condition, suffered a similar attack.

The appeal was launched in September 2013 with Olympic rowing champion Dame Katherine Grainger agreeing to be patron.

The initial £10,000 was raised from public donations by Christmas that year.

The appeal was then expanded and continued to install defibrillators at schools, each one accompanied by a training programme for staff and pupils.

It then began to raise money to put defibrillators into custom-made red boxes on the outside of public buildings. The boxes, which are made by Turtle Engineering and feature the Millie’s Dream insignia, are all connected to a power source to keep the devices at the correct temperature.

The appeal became so popular that Ms Roberts was approached to help install defibrillators in communities across the area.

She hopes that advances in technology could make the devices even more prevalent with defibrillator applications on devices such as iPads leaving people only needing to purchase the pads.

She said: “I absolutely believe that we will all have defibrillators in our houses within about 10 years.

“Millie’s Dream is now being approached by individual families that haven’t got any particular cardiac issues but perhaps due to geographical location they are considering buying one themselves and sharing them among a few houses. Now that she’s 12, Millie herself knows about how to use a defibrillator. I believe, going forward, she will be a fantastic ambassador. I’m really proud of her.”

Ms Roberts is appealing for everyone to take the time to find out where their nearest defibrillator is located and how it is accessed.

Anyone who wants to be trained in how to use a device should contact St John’s Ambulance or Suzanne Stickley, of First Aid Matters, who runs regular training courses for Millie’s Dream.

Ms Roberts will even run through the basics at the Active VIII physiotherapy clinic in West Street, where she is a clinical director.

For more information about Millie’s Dream or to get involved, visit the charity’s Facebook page or email Ms Roberts at sarah@active-viii.org

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