The Gloucestershire Live Local Business Hero Award 2022 was awarded to Clare Seed of Tidal Training Direct Ltd for the Public Hearts Defibrillator Campaign – a not-for-profit community plan to raise awareness and numbers of lifesaving defibs in and around Cheltenham.
Back in 2018, when Public Hearts was co-founded by Clare, former Gloucestershire Echo Editor-in-Chief Kevan Blackadder became Chief Executive for newly created Cheltenham Business Improvement District, with Head of Operations, Belinda Hunt. Understanding the benefits, they generously put forward the planning permission and the funding to bring Cheltenham Town Centre’s first public access defib to one of the phone boxes on The Prom, by RBS.
Reflecting on 2022 to where they are now, Public Hearts has grown from strength to strength, thanks to its community collaboration and engagement of like-minded people to achieve the same goal. At the start June of 2022 they had successfully facilitated the installation of 11 donated defibrillators from Bob Holt OBE and fellow community champions, Spirax Sarco, and were unaware that Public Hearts had been nominated for an award.
Public Hearts was gathering pace in getting closer to its mission of placing public access defibs in high foot fall locations along Cheltenham High Street, where before October 2019, there were none. Spirax Sarco’s incredible, and continued generosity and commitment to the not-for-profit campaign facilitated increased coverage and awareness. By the end of June 2022 there were 21 defibrillators in and around Cheltenham. An impactful increase of 20 in just 6 months.
Then G4S Facilities Management stepped forward with another 11 donated defibrillators, as well as community contributions from Chun Kong, East Glos Club and independent businesses, bringing the total to an impressive 34 by 13 October – which was the date of the Gloucestershire Live Business Awards ceremony at The Racecourse.
Each time a new location is added, Public Hearts welcomes that organisation, charity or business into the Public Hearts Defib Family. Because Public Hearts is not-for-profit, it gives the ability to work across all sectors and organisations, and is truly inclusive without any course for commercial interest. Public Hearts charities include; CCP, The Nelson Trust and The Sober Parrot, Cheltenham Open Door, Gloucester City Mission Helping Hands, GL Communities, and The Ewe Space. The campaign gives an opportunity to share the important and impactful work each and every entity does and gives access to these lifesaving and life-changing pieces of equipment to those offering services to the vulnerable, and also being in strategic locations in the community.
Later in 2022, G4S stepped forward again donating another consignment of 16 donated defibrillators. Public Hearts reached out to Cheltenham Borough Council to formalise an existing cordial relationship to facilitate defib coverage in high-density residential areas, and specifically, Community Resource Centres, public spaces in need of coverage and to facilitate housing existing defibs outside wherever possible.
By the year-end there were 41 defibrillators facilitated through Public Hearts and this has already reached the big 50 this year. Public Hearts is delighted to expand relationships to include the YMCA, The Cheltenham Trust and Ubico to offer essential coverage in these locations.
The community campaign continues to raise awareness and numbers of defibs in and around Cheltenham with ambitious plans continuing throughout the year and beyond.
For all individuals and organisations, it is vital to register an existing defib on The Circuit – the UK NHS Ambulance Services network for their detection in the event of a medical emergency.
To access this link and to find out more, please visit our Public Hearts Defib Hub.