'Overwhelmed' by success of defibrillator fundraiser

Lucy Pye and Paul Simpson at The Dun Cow pub in Christchurch with a defibrillator

Lucy Pye and Paul Simpson of The Dun Cow pub in Christchurch have helped raise over £1,000 towards buying and maintaining more defibrillators in the village. - Credit: Supplied/Lucy Pye

A first aid trainer who has helped raise over £1,000 to buy more village defibrillators said she is “totally overwhelmed” by the response. 

Lucy Pye of Christchurch raised the importance of first aid training to individuals and businesses, as well as using a defibrillator. 

This caught the attention of Paul Simpson of The Dun Cow pub, who decided to help purchase and maintain the existing machines within the village. 

“It is quite obvious that the more we have in key areas in the village, the more chance we have of saving someone’s life,” Lucy said. 

“With this in mind, me and Paul decided it was time to raise some funds to purchase three more defibrillators for the village.” 

Cllr Rob Skoulding as mayor of March next to a defibrillator

A defibrillator installed at Cavalry School in March in 2015. Left: Rob Skoulding when he was mayor, headteacher Fiona McCallum, and electrical contractor Darren Biggs. - Credit: Archant

The aim is to purchase and maintain defibrillators at The Dun Cow, on Fen View and either Padgetts Road or Church Road, while there are already machines at the village community centre and Townley Primary School. 

Lucy, who runs CACH First Aid Training, launched a fundraiser alongside Paul to try and meet the £1,500 needed for three units and cabinets, where £640 was raised. 

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“Additional funds were needed to secure the remaining two so Paul and Sue Simpson, along with myself held a fundraiser at the Dun Cow on July 4. 

“The event was a roaring success and managed to raise £476, so that’s £1,116 so far.” 

Across Fenland, the number of defibrillators varies.  

In Whittlesey and surrounding villages, there are 48 public access defibrillators according to charity Defibrillators For All whereas in nearby March, there are 37. 

Christian Eriksen suffered cardiac arrest at Euro 2020

Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest while playing for Denmark against Finland at Euro 2020. - Credit: PA

The topic returned to the spotlight after footballer Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest while playing for Denmark at Euro 2020 last month. 

Ex-mayor of March Cllr Rob Skoulding, whose life was saved by a combination of wife Laura and a defibrillator, hopes residents in the town to live within three minutes of the device. 

But for Lucy and fellow villagers, their fundraising efforts could not have been reciprocated any better. 

“CPR alone gives a four per cent chance or revival although keeps the blood flowing. A defib offers a 76pc chance," she said.

“The community are amazing; they’ve donated cakes, raffle prizes, as well as the fantastic turn out on a Sunday.  

"I was expecting £200 but we raised over £470, so I'm totally overwhelmed.

“We will continue to fundraise and get a third, and I just think it makes the villagers feel safer.” 

To donate, visit: https://bit.ly/3yrSsee.