Life-saving heart equipment has been placed at 20 venues across Burton, South Derbyshire and North West Leicestershire, thanks to money raise by the 5p levy on plastic carrier bags.
Central England Co-operative has installed 300 defibrillator machines, which are used to to deliver an electric shock to the heart of someone who has suffered cardiac arrest, at its food stores and funeral homes across the UK, including 20 in the Burton and South Derbyshire area. The defibrillators cost £150 each. The 20 machines will cost £3,000.
Store staff and members of the community who live close by have been trained to use the equipment should anyone need it. The defibrillators will be placed in locked boxes outside the Co-op stores, which staff and other nominated people will have a key for.
It has been estimated that around 100,000 people die from sudden cardiac arrest in the UK each year and, while CPR saves the lives of around nine per cent, if CPR is used alongside a defibrillator machine the chance of survival increases to 50 per cent.
Martyn Cheatle, chief executive of the Central England Co-operative, said: "Sudden cardiac arrest is one of the UK's biggest killers and, after listening to the concerns of customers, members and partners, we wanted to tackle the issue by getting more life-saving equipment into communities where it can save lives.
"As a responsible business we place a huge focus on making a positive contribution to the communities in which we trade; we are delighted to have been able to build on our existing work with this project which we funded from the 5p carrier bag levy.
"The response to the project by our colleagues, customers and members has been amazing and we have been taken aback by the positive response from the communities in which we serve."
The supermarket chain worked closely with local ambulance services to find the best locations to put the devices, where they can be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Kev Morris, who is a store manager at Central England Co-operative at stores across Burton and South Derbyshire, said: "Everyone in our stores and funeral homes have been delighted to have been such an integral part of ensuring these lifesaving devices could be installed and be of great benefit to our communities.
"If one of the defibrillators is ever needed, anyone can call 999 and the emergency operator will pass on a code that will open the locked case that the equipment is stored in.
"The devices will then talk the person through how to use it – they are easy to use and any member of the community would be able to do so if needed."
After every device was installed, special familiarisation sessions were carried out for staff, nearby businesses and local residents to teach them more about the devices and train them in how to use them.
Where will the defibrillators go in our stores?
- Burton Funeralcare, Borough Road, Burton
- Stretton Precinct Food Store, Main Street, Stretton
- Alrewas Food Store, Main Street, Alrewas
- Barton under Needwood, Crowberry Lane, Barton under Needwood
- Rolleston on Dove, Burnside Road, Rolleston-on-Dove
- Fradley Food Store, Common Lane, Fradley
- Bretby Crematorium, in Geary Lane, Bretby
- Dove Funeral Services, Uttoxeter
- Ward & Brewin Funeral Service, High Street, Woodville
- Ward & Brewin Funeral Service, West Street, Swadlincote
- Willington Food Store, Repton Road
- Stretton Food Store, Main Street
- Eton Park Food Store, Princess Way, Stretton
- Branston Food Store, Main Street
- Winshill Food Store, Church Hill Street
- Stapenhill Food Store, Woods Lane
- Overseal Food Store, Burton Road
- Hatton Food Store, Station Road
- Ashby Food Store, Market Street
- AE Grice Funeral Service, Derby Road, Ashby
What are defibrillators?
A defibrillator is a device that gives a high energy electric shock to the heart through the chest wall to someone who is in cardiac arrest.
The high energy shock is called defibrillation and it is an essential life-saving step,
Defibrillators are often available in public places such as train stations, shopping centres, airports and leisure centres. These are known as public access defibrillators and can be used by anyone in the case of an emergency.