Following a cardiac arrest 4 years ago, Merley residents Sue Weall and husband Chris decided to fundraise for a community defibrillator. Sue said: “We’ve lived in Merley for 32 years and it has been a good place for us as a family as our sons were growing up and at school. In retirement we are giving back to the community that we value so much, as health issues can affect anyone.”
In the last six months, working in partnership with The Community Heartbeat Trust who help install defibrillators across the UK, together with the fantastic help from local people, community groups and businesses. Sue and Chris were able to raise enough funds, to not only place a communal defibrillator outside The Lantern Church in Merley, but were on their way to obtaining another. Then, local Nisa Store Manager, Michelle Woodison brought the project to the attention of her Manager, Darren Whitcher and through their ‘Making a Difference Locally’ charity they gave a surprise donation of £2,000 to completely fund a second unit.
Darren Whitcher from Nisa, said: I remember reading in the Daily Echo (01/06/16) about a gentleman in Swanage who was saved by a public defibrillator and I knew then that we, as a company had to offer as much support to the project as possible. After speaking with Sue Weall, we found out that they had almost reached their target of £2,000. We immediately made the offer of, “Would you like another one?” Of course Sue said “Yes” and we set the wheels in motion. Nisa are very proud to be able to provide the financial support. I hope the unit won’t be needed by anyone, however if we help save one person that is reward enough for us.”
The 22nd February marked the handover, from Darren Whitcher and Michelle Woodison of Nisa to Poole Housing Partnership (PHP) and the Merley Community Defibrillator Project, of a second defibrillator, which is located on the external wall of the Communal Lounge at Selkirk Close, one of PHP’s Sheltered Schemes. Residents of Selkirk Close were joined by PHP Staff, Lyn Murrell and Karen Rees, local Councillors Jane Newell and David Brown, Project Coordinator Sue Weall and Roz Hanson from Shine Network, to mark the occasion. PHP said: “We are proud to be part of this important project which benefits the community in the case of an emergency and raises awareness of community support.”
You can find out more about the project at: www.facebook.com/MerleyDefibProject
Photo left to right:
Darren Whitcher, Nisa Manager – Michelle Woodison, Nisa Store Manager – Sue Weall, Defibrillator Project Coordinator – Lyn Murrell, Sheltered Housing Officer