On Wednesday 11th October 2023 I visited Peter Warren to donate a defibrillator to the West Raynham SHQ Veterans Central.

The station headquarters (SHQ) building has been abandoned since the RAF left in the mid-1990s. It is an iconic 1930s building on an airfield that was operational in World War Two and throughout the Cold War. 

The Veterans Central Trust aims to restore their historic station headquarters building as a location for use by military and blue light charities, organisations and veterans to have space for support activities, wellbeing and engagement. The site will also engage and support the local community and other visitors.


SHQ veterans outside


The trust is fully volunteer led and delivered, with volunteers from a wide range of backgrounds and experience. This also provides volunteers opportunities to share, learn and enhance skills and provides a welcoming socialising environment.


The centre provides:

  • Drop-in centre for and cafe for veterans
  • Meeting spaces for groups and teams 
  • Activities and events
  • External wellbeing and support spaces
  • Military research library
  • Veterans help exchange & business support exchange
  • Memorial Garden


Peter expressed that the decision to apply for a defibrillator was down to the isolated area the building is situated in. With the nearest defibrillator 4 miles away and the nearest ambulance service a similar distance, this would result in longer waiting times for the emergency services with a life-saving defibrillator to arrive. Without immediate treatment, the chance of survival from Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) decreases by 10% per minute.


SHQ veterans


What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA)?

SCA occurs when a person’s heart goes into a life-threatening rhythm known as ventricular fibrillation (VF) and stops pumping blood around the body and to the brain, causing instant unconsciousness. The electrical activity of the heart becomes so chaotic that the heart stops pumping and quivers or ‘fibrillates’ instead.

SCA strikes at any time without warning and sadly, no one is immune regardless of gender, age, fitness level, ethnicity or geography., 90-95% of people who suffer from SCA will die.

Peter has plans to have his defibrillator stored in an heated outside cabinet so it is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the event of a SCA emergency. Reassuring the safety of the veterans and volunteers situated in the building is close to Peter's heart and with his new donated defibrillator he now has peace of mind that he is organised in the event of an SCA emergency.


SHQ veterans cafe

You can support West Raynham SHQ in many different ways, Including:

Sponsoring a widow - enables an individual or organisation to sponsor a widow for themselves or relative

Sponsor a memorial plaque and rose - Memorial garden includes a memorial wall where individuals can sponsor a plaque to be placed on the wall

Making a donation - Donate to the project or support one of our crowdfund activities

Attend our events - Attending our events shows your support of the work we are doing

Organise an event - Run your own event at the iconic SHQ building

Become a volunteer - The current volunteer base is a mix of ex-military personnel and local community volunteers


We hope Peter and the team at SHQ will never have to use their new donated defibrillator, but with peace of mind that should an SCA emergency was to occur they are now well equipped to help that individual and feel that every possible chance has been given to them, whatever the outcome.


If you would like to be in with a chance to receive a defibrillator for your local charity/community, please apply today.