A new automated external defibrillator (AED) was recently installed outside the Chapterhouse at the Beech Tree Cafe at St Mary’s Episcopal Church, Hamilton for the benefit of the local community and those using the church premises.
The idea, initiated earlier this year, was brought to fruition through a plethora of fundraisers: second-hand goods and book sales, online auctions, and above all the sheer generosity of the congregation and friends of the church.
The premises are in use every day with varied purposes ranging from the Beech Tree cafe, a Child Contact centre, a Scout group, space for the charity “Circle”, to events and functions hire. With the number of people using the site, the congregation was always conscious that an emergency can occur and they felt it was essential to install this vital life-saving equipment.
Importantly, being a community outreach church with their charity St Mary’s For All, they believe that the defibrillator should be available 24/7 for emergency response to the local community. The AED is, therefore, located in the entrance porch for ease of access.
Once the money was raised, St Mary’s contacted the charity Lucky2BHere which helps to facilitate installation of defibrillators and has trained thousands of people across Scotland in the essential skills of Emergency Life Support. They are based in Skye, set up by Ross Cowie whose own life was saved by paramedics when he suffered a cardiac arrest. (Further details about Lucky2BHere can be found on their website.)
This past week, the goal was achieved, and the defibrillator was installed.