Victoria Park in shock

A defibrillator has been installed in Victoria Park, Newbury, at the newly refurbished tennis courts entrance and was officially unveiled by the Mayor of Newbury, Cllr David Fenn at 11am on Friday 8 December. This is the Heartstart Thatcham team’s 51st defibrillator. The ‘Public Access’ defibrillator will be available to use 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Local resident Caroline Powers held a coffee morning in October 2016 in memory of her late partner, Richard Hayes. Caroline was so pleased with the support, saying, “The coffee morning was a big success and I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who came and supported it.” The money raised was passed to the Heartstart Thatcham team as funding towards another defibrillator. The team have held fund raising events including a quiz evening at the Old London Apprentice, to raise additional funds to enable this to happen.

The Heartstart team started looking at suitable locations around Newbury; there are presently units in Parkway Shopping Centre, the Kennet Centre, the Railway Station and others dotted about. Scheme co-ordinator Dr Nick Young said, “One area stood out as somewhere that was not covered and that was Victoria Park.”  

Cllr Adrian Edwards, Leader of the Council, said, “We were approached by the Heartstart team and were pleased to be able to offer a space for the defibrillator in Victoria Park, which is widely used by residents and visitors.” He continued, “With our new facilities in the Park, including the refurbished tennis courts, more and more people are visiting and the defibrillator will be in an ideal position should anyone need to use it in an emergency”.

The team are already working with other communities including Hermitage and Beenham. Nick said "we would like to see a defibrillator in every community and every school along with compulsort CPR and defibrillator training within schools for the pupils. Imagine every school child being a potential life saver!"