Saving Lives Together: St Philips and St James Church in Leckhampton installs new defibrillator for local community

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Thanks to GWAAC volunteer Andy Beckett, St Philip and St James Church (Pip & Jim’s), and Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC), residents of Leckhampton will now have their best chance on their worst day.
A public access defibrillator has been installed on the front of Pip & Jim’s Church building and it is ready for use if someone nearby goes into cardiac arrest.

GWAAC would like to say a huge thank you to Andy Beckett and his family who kindly funded this in memory of his parents, Alan and Audrey Beckett. Andy said, “I wanted to create a legacy from Mum and Dad to GWAAC, who provide such a vital and essential service.”

Early CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and defibrillation can raise survival rates from 1 in 10 to as much as 7 in 10 making defibrillators vital community assets.

GWAAC’s Critical Care Doctors, Advanced Clinical Practitioners, and Specialist Paramedics in Critical Care provide emergency pre-hospital care to around 2000 people a year; people who are in a condition so grave that they need specialist skills and equipment at the scene.

GWAAC treats over 500 cardiac arrest patients a year, yet despite the extraordinary skills the crew brings to the scene, patient survival is highly dependent on other key steps prior to their arrival.

The new defibrillator at Pip & Jim’s was part of a package provided by GWAAC, alongside CPR and defibrillation training. Through its public access defibrillator campaign GWAAC hopes to prevent avoidable and needless deaths, where anyone who suffers a cardiac arrest receives immediate CPR and then defibrillation within five minutes.

Early CPR and defibrillation are vital links in the chain of survival; doing both can dramatically increase survival rates. This is why it is so important that the community rallies together to get more defibrillators.
The support from the team at Pip & Jim’s was vital in getting this defibrillator sited:

“With St Philip & St James now firmly established as a vibrant community space during the week, with over 500 people on average of all ages involved in a wide range of activities from keep fit to large scale concerts, in addition to our Sunday worship, this defibrillator is a valuable asset to have available. It is a very generous donation from Andy Beckett in memory of his parents and we are extremely grateful”.
Hazel Mace, Churchwarden & Jake Bussell, Verger.

GWAAC is hoping that its public access defibrillator campaign will help more people like Forrest Wheeler who collapsed in Pittville Park in Cheltenham. Forrest survived thanks to early CPR and defibrillation. When GWAAC’s Critical Care Team arrived they put Forrest into an induced coma and got him to hospital fast. Forrest has these pearls of wisdom to share:

“If anyone takes anything away from my story, it’s that if you have any hesitations about using a defibrillator – don’t. My message is, just use it. The machine tells you what to do, it’s so easy and it’s better to give it a go than not try at all.”

If you would like to fundraise for or purchase a defibrillator for your community, please get in touch with the GWAAC team by emailing, visiting or calling Lisa Warrington, Defibrillator Coordinator on 07596 566175.


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