On the 21st December 2023 I visited Elliot Sparks, chairman of Pennine Mencap, who provide opportunities for adults with learning disabilities and complex needs in Oldham, Tameside and throughout Greater Manchester to create, achieve and express themselves in day to day life.
Pennine Mencap achieves this through a variety of services and activities that engage learning for adults with disabilities, and those with complex needs, helping them to develop skills that bring positive changes to their everyday lives. These skills progress to help them in the workplace and how to make effective life choices.
Elliot’s mission was to eventually raise funds to gain access to a defibrillator at Pennine Mencap HQ to ensure the safety of all adults and staff in the case of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) emergency.
Elliot worked hard to fundraise but was still falling short of the goal to purchase a life-saving defibrillator for his building. After reading about the great things Elliot and the team were doing, we wanted to help and Elliots mission was accomplished as Pennine Mencap were chosen to receive a donated defibrillator.
Why Are Defibrillators So Important?
Defibrillators are medical devices that play a vital role in saving lives during SCA emergencies. The purpose of a defibrillator is to restore a normal heart rhythm by delivering a shock to the heart when it is experiencing a life-threatening arrhythmia, particularly ventricular fibrillation (VF) or ventricular tachycardia (VT), resulting in the heart not pumping blood to the brain and vital organs.
Defibrillators are designed to be easy to use by individuals with minimal medical training. They provide clear voice instructions and visual prompts to guide the user through the process of administering a shock.
The prompt use of a defibrillator significantly improves the chances of survival for individuals experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. Early defibrillation combined with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can be a critical link in the chain of survival.
Eilliot plans to store his donated defibrillator outside in an outdoor locked cabinet so this can be accessible to the surrounding community and the local emergency services.
This defibrillator will also be added to The Circuit, a national defibrillator network that provides the NHS ambulance services with vital information about defibrillators across the UK so that in those crucial moments after a SCA, they can be accessed quickly to help save lives.
The team at Pennine Mencap were incredibly grateful to receive their donated defibrillator and I am delighted they are now in a heartsafe environment along with having the recognition that if a SCA emergency was ever to happen they have given the person the best chance of survival.
If you would like to be in with a chance to receive a defibrillator for your local charity/community, please contact us today