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Defibrillators on Church Premises

Putting your church at the heart of your community

Late last year Tom Lockyer put the subject of heart health and community defibrillators firmly on the agenda for many people. Lockyer, team captain and defender for Premier League Luton Town, collapsed during their Premier League clash with Bournemouth on 16 December 2023. Luckily, an experienced and well equipped team of medics was on hand and they promptly dealt with him. He suffered a cardiac arrest, but with the wonderful care of the medics at the ground and staff at the local hospital his recovery was assured.

As soon as someone has a cardiac arrest, the clock starts ticking. A defibrillator is a portable life saving device that can give a casualty's heart an electric shock, when it has stopped beating. They are often located in public places such as old telephone boxes, on the walls of village halls, or outside pubs and shops, but they are increasingly found attached to church buildings.

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DHSC funding for community spaces across England

If you would like to make contact with Hillsborough to find out how they went about the process please feel free to drop Keith Nockels a line.

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Defibrillators on Listed Buildings - Advice from the Methodist Church

Research by the British Heart Foundation reveal that that only four in ten of people who saw someone collapse from cardiac arrest performed CPR. In addition, 62 per cent of British adults admitted to being worried about what to do if someone collapsed in front of them after suffering cardiac arrest. CPR must be learnt.

However, today’s defibrillators are all easy-to-use models that walk its user through the whole process and clearly communicate what to do. If a defibrillator is used within 3-5 minutes of cardiac arrest, survival rates jump from 6 per cent to 74 per cent. In fact, alongside effective CPR, they are the only effective treatment for a person who has suffered cardiac arrest.

It’s simple: defibrillators make all the difference.

More and more churches are installing defibrillators on their premises. Keith Nockels instigated this process at Hillsborough and at Tapton Hill in Sheffield. Keith says: "I work as a health librarian in higher education so have an interest in health matters and am used to engaging with specialist medical terminology, and it's also good to put experience and interest to use in the church, so I was very happy to volunteer to head up our investigations. We heard of the DHSC scheme via the South Yorkshire Funding Advice Bureau and proceeded from there."

Recognising that many Churches are at the heart of their community the Department of Health and Social Care is currently running a £1 million match funded Community Automated External Defibrillators Fund, aimed at increasing the number of AEDs in public places where they are most needed and to help save lives. Click this link to find out more.