Graham Stuart, MP for Beverley and Holderness, has written to secondary schools in his constituency to encourage them to register for Yorkshire Ambulance Service’s (YAS) ‘Restart a Heart Day’, which is taking place on Friday 16th October.
Graham said, “I think there’s a fear about performing CPR, or using defibrillators, especially when people feel they don’t know exactly what to do. It’s actually very easy, and Restart a Heart Day is an opportunity to become familiar with the techniques.
“Every minute without CPR or a defibrillator reduces someone’s chances of survival by about 10%, while generally only about 8% of people survive an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the UK – so it genuinely is a case of life and death.”
Restart a Heart Day is run in conjunction with the Resuscitation Council, the British Heart Foundation and St John Ambulance, with the equipment provided free of charge. Over the last 6 years, it has provided training to over 151,000 children at 82% of secondary schools across Yorkshire.
Graham is the Chair of the CADEY (Community Access Defibrillators for East Yorkshire) campaign, which brings together local health professionals including YAS, with the aim of reducing the number of communities in Beverley and Holderness that are without a publicly accessible defibrillator.
Having started the campaign in Spring 2018 with approximately 60 communities without a publicly accessible defibrillators, this has been cut nearly in half since. CADEY aims to have full coverage of all rural communities in Beverley and Holderness by the end of 2020.
Graham added, “Not only does CADEY aim to achieve full defib coverage of the rural communities in Beverley and Holderness, but we will increase awareness of how to use these live-saving machines and where they are, which is why it’s so important that schools sign up to Restart a Heart Day.
“CADEY is offering match funding schemes, or even full-funding, with the help of our partners like the Smile Foundation, Help for Health, NURSE and Esh Construction and we are working with parish councils, local community groups, businesses and farmers to get public access defibrillators in every community across the constituency.
“If your community doesn’t have a defibrillator yet, then please get in touch with me and we’ll get one organised. Over the summer I’m planning to cycle to visit the communities in Beverley and Holderness which still don’t have a defib – so the fewer I have to visit the better as it means we’ll be making good progress.”
Martha Hogg’s lifesaving story has been celebrated in a video released by YAS to mark the launch of their Restart a Heart Day campaign, at youtu.be/H94mSj1Gs-8. The deadline for schools to apply is Friday 3rd April.