Cornish residents rally to bring lifeline to park
When residents at a St Austell retirement park heard of its plans to raise enough money to buy a defibrillator, they put their hearts into a full-on fundraising effort.
As a result, family-run Gainsborough Park in Foxhole has now installed the potentially life-saving equipment on site after the £3,200 target was met.
The park, on which over 110 park homes are located, says the defibrillator could provide an invaluable lifeline by saving vital minutes of delay in a medical emergency.
Since earlier this year, a raft of initiatives undertaken by members of the park’s residents association – and by staff and the park itself – have contributed to the fundraising for the equipment.
Projects included a highly successful car boot sale to which many of the park’s residents added household items in order to help swell the near £200 total achieved.
One of Gainsborough’s elderly residents, who herself lives with a debilitating medical condition, undertook a sponsored walk along the Camel Trail, raising another £170.00.
Other successful efforts included coffee mornings, a gifting box in the park office, and donations made by other local businesses and organisations.
Support was also provided by Cornwall’s Front Line Emergency Trust, founded by Cornish ambulance staff in 1990, which has arranged the supply of the defibrillator.
Carol Syms, a member of the park-owning family, said her business would also be covering the £3,500-plus cost of maintaining the equipment over its estimated ten-year lifetime.
Carol said it was fantastic that such a positive outcome had resulted from the coming together of everyone in and around the park community:
“Sudden Cardiac Arrest is the number one killer at home in Britain, and a close-at-hand defibrillator on the park could dramatically increase a person’s survival chances,” she said.
“The equipment is, of course, something which you hope will never be needed – but we are mindful of the fact that the vast majority of our residents are aged over fifty.
“Having said that, even many of those in their seventies and eighties here still have bags of energy and drive, and they along with others played a crucial part in our fundraising.
“Overall, it was a great collective effort and we are very grateful to everyone who helped us raise this sum in such a relatively short time,” added Carol.
Training of volunteers who will help arrange the use of the defibrillator by medics in an emergency will shortly be carried out on the park by FLEET.