New defibrillators shown off at opening ceremony
Villagers in Derry Hill who have campaigned for the installation of two life-saving defibrillators celebrated with an official ceremony to show off the new equipment.
The defibrillators have been installed in the telephone box on Church Road and on the front of the Lansdowne Hall in Petty Lane after a year of fundraising and planning.
Emma Dadd, 39, of Lansdowne Crescent, raised around £2,500 for the first defibrillator in memory of her husband Martin, who died at home from an undetected heart condition.
She purchased the defibrillator after organising a sponsored swim with her teenage daughters Chloe and Sophie, and securing sponsorship from Vastern Timber and Chippenham Farm Sales.
Mrs Dadd, who was married for 15 years, said paying for the defibrillator was a way of saying thank you to those who offered support at the time of her husband’s death.
She said: “I’m really proud of the girls and all the work that they put in to raise the money. It’s really nice to be able to give something back to the villagers as they have supported us a lot.
“When we started I didn’t expect to raise as much money, so I was really amazed by that. It’s very reassuring to know they’re there and they’re easy to use.”
Calne Without Parish Council bought the phone box from BT, which has its own electricity supply to keep the defibrillator warm and to light up the box when it gets dark.
Both machines were blessed by the Rev Ann Massey on Saturday and Dr Nick Brown, a doctor at the Rowden Surgery in Chippenham, gave a speech after the blessings.
The second defibrillator was funded by villagers from the Derry Hill and Studley Heartbeat Group, who raised money through carol singing and at village events.
They will continue fundraising in order to get a separate defibrillator in the Methodist chapel in Studley and have already collected between £600 and £700.
The Chippenham Lions, Calne Lions, the Calne Area Board and Calne Without Parish Council also gave money for the second defibrillator.
Parish councillor Richard Aylen said: “It’s been a brilliant response from the community, and we had a really good turnout.
"We still need to fundraise, one to make sure we have enough money in the kitty to look after the existing one, but also to make sure the good folks in Studley have one as well.”
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