My Heartstart Thatcham

Anyone who reads my blog will know I am involved with the local community. I have worked with, and/or continue to do so, Thatcham Historical Society, Thatcham Vision, Thatcham Town Council, and so on. I am proud to have worked with all. I thought though I would write a bit about the one I am currently coordinator for and that is Heartstart Thatcham.

For those that do not know the Heartstart schemes are an initiative by the British heart Foundation (BHF). The idea is they give you the training materials and ensure you are competent to deliver the course. This is regularly checked. If you then go to any scheme you should get the same course.

Training at Parkway Shopping, Newbury

Training at Parkway Shopping, Newbury

However since I started Heartstart Thatcham in May 2013 it has surpassed all expectations. Working with the BHF and David Hamer from South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS), we started to include practical defibrillator training in early 2014. To the best of my knowledge we were the first scheme to officially include practical and many others have now followed suit. At the same time the "Thatcham" part of our name seemed to be redundant and we were running courses, and still do, throughout West Berkshire and beyond. We have worked in Newbury, Basingstoke, Calcot, Theale, Lambourn, Bucklebury, Cold Ash and many other areas. By October 2014 we had started to install defibrillators, the first being at Henwick Worthy Sports Ground in Thatcham. At the time of writing, March 2017, we are about to place our 40th unit.

The first Public Access Defibrillator

The first Public Access Defibrillator

In 2015 the team were awarded a Gold Civic Award by Thatcham Town Council and in June of the same year we became a registered charity. At the time one of only two Heartstart schemes to do so. In 2016, again working with the BHF, we introduced the Call Push Rescue course, again to the best of my knowledge we were the first scheme to officially do this. As of February 2017 we have trained in excess of 850 people and educated thousands in talks and at events.

The team, you can read more about on the Heartstart Thatcham website, come from Thatcham and Newbury and are all volunteers, none of the team are paid. So you can see I am very proud of the team and what they have accomplished.

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