Welwyn Garden City-based charity kits out borough with defibrillators

Sir Fredric Osborn School headteacher Jed Whelan, DiPPs trustee David Hursey, Jame's sister Katie Hursey, sports centre manager Sam Harte, DiPPs trustee Arline Hursey and chair of SFO PTA Fiona Rowe with the two new defibrillators donated to the school

Sir Fredric Osborn School headteacher Jed Whelan, DiPPs trustee David Hursey, Jame's sister Katie Hursey, sports centre manager Sam Harte, DiPPs trustee Arline Hursey and chair of SFO PTA Fiona Rowe with the two new defibrillators donated to the school

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A Welwyn Garden City-based charity has been helping businesses and clubs install nearly 30 life-saving pieces of equipment.

The Setting Out Hatfield team. Picture: Supplied. The Setting Out Hatfield team. Picture: Supplied.

Welwyn Sports and Social Club and Setting Out now have defibrillators thanks to Defibrillators in Public Places (DiPPs).

Arline and David Hursey, of Panshanger, started the charity DiPPs in honour of their son James Hursey, who died, aged just 18, in his sleep.

Setting Out, in Birchwood Avenue, Hatfield, has been raising money to pay back the charity after a defibrillator was installed just outside the salon.

Owner Theresa Beretta heard of James’ story and was deeply saddened by his tragic death, as he is the same age as her daughter.

The defibrillator outside Setting Out in Hatfield. Picture: Supplied. The defibrillator outside Setting Out in Hatfield. Picture: Supplied.

Theresa said: “Back in October we raised £3,790 for Breast Cancer Care and we were going to carry on doing so but decided as we’d done so well maybe it would be a good idea to have a defibrillator in the area.”

The salon has so far raised £1,100 out of the £1,600 total and is funding the constant supply of electricity that the defibrillator needs to run.

Theresa added: “We have been overwhelmed by our wonderful clients’ generosity but I think it highlights the fact that people want access to defibrillators and also the lack of understanding about them.

“I am personally hoping we have set a trend in providing this service in other shopping areas and public places with general access.”

James Hursey James Hursey

At a Welwyn Sports and Social Club committee meeting it was noted that all of the volunteers wanted a defibrillator for the club premises.

The charity encouraged the club to place the equipment outside its building so it could be used by members of the community as well.

A spokesman for the club said: “DiPPs said they would fund it however we decided that we should help fund the purchase alongside DiPPs.”

As the social club is run by volunteers and not-for-profit, members made a donation from their club fund and Welwyn Parish Council also matched their donation of £250.

The defibrillator, which has been paid off thanks to the club’s fundraising efforts, is now up and running.

Arline said: “As long as DiPPs has the funds we are more than happy to pay for defibrillators and to install them but very kindly both the club and Setting Out decided to pay it back.

“If a person has a sudden cardiac arrest, their only hope of survival is defibrillation and CPR, and their chances of survival drop by approximately 10 per cent for every minute that passes without this intervention.”

In the last 18 months the charity has installed 27 defibrillators, 21 of which were placed throughout WGC and Hatfield.

The charity is already set to placing one outside Tesco in Moors Walk, WGC, and is looking for a business in WGC town centre to come forward to have one installed outside its premises.

For more information or to reach out to DiPPs visit http://www.dipps4james.co.uk/

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