Iconic BT kiosk in Sherborne becomes life-saving community defibrillator
A new community public access defibrillator (cPAD) has been officially launched by local businesses and organisations who have supported the £3k project. The defibrillator, available 24/7, is located in Cheap Street, outside Sherborne Post Office, in an iconic K6 telephone kiosk originally designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott in 1935. It features the latest Zoll AED 3 technology, for adult and paediatric rescue.
Designed to give confidence to those attending a casualty, the defibrillator provides real-time voice instruction, helping rescuers deliver high-quality CPR. Its innovative, intuitive design offers even inexperienced users the ability needed to treat sudden cardiac arrest.
Local business, Girlings Complete Hearing, kick-started the project in September 2021, following a Sherborne Chamber of Trade appeal, by making a £500 funding pledge and a commitment to manage the project. Midwest the Stationers raised a further £360 through its charity raffle.
Nicola Girling, said: “As hearing healthcare providers, we didn’t think twice about supporting this new health resource for the town. Naturally, we hope the defibrillator isn’t needed, but it’s reassuring to know it is available round the clock for anybody experiencing a cardiac emergency”.
Following months of negotiation with BT and Royal Mail, the kiosk was formally adopted by Sherborne Town Council through BT’s ‘Adopt a Kiosk’ scheme. Town Clerk, Steve Shield, said: “The Town Council is delighted to support this excellent initiative for the best interests of the local community. The installation of more potentially life-saving equipment, in such a prominent location in the town, is invaluable for residents, local businesses and visitors alike”.
This new defibrillator, purchased and maintained through the Community Heartbeat Trust, would not have been possible without the generous support of The Friends of the Yeatman Hospital, which committed £1740 to the project as part of its community outreach.
David Hayes CBE, Chairman of the Friends of the Yeatman Hospital, said: “At the forefront of The Friends of the Yeatman Hospital’s priorities is emergency and long-term care for the Sherborne community. The defibrillator project is an excellent example of our contributions to emergency care, and we are delighted to collaborate with Sherborne Town Council and local businesses to ensure the equipment’s introduction and sustainability”.
Following a cardiac arrest the chances of survival drop dramatically every minute. The UK Resuscitation Council recommends that a defibrillator should be available when medical treatment is more than five minutes away, which would include most rural locations in the UK. Inside the phone box, in place of the telephone unit, Sherborne’s new defibrillator is housed in a Rotaid heated cabinet to protect it from environmental elements. The unit is registered with South Western Ambulance Service and, when someone calls 999, they will be directed to the box (presuming it is the closest defibrillator to the casualty). No code will be required to access the device.
The British Coatings Federation, in partnership with the Community Heartbeat Trust, generously supplied the paint to revitalise Sherborne’s kiosk, donated through Dulux Decorating Centre Yeovil/AkzoNobel.
BT continues to support the cost of electricity to the box, so the equipment will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. BT’s Mark Johnson said: “We launched the Adopt a Kiosk scheme because the red telephone box is a significant part of our national heritage. We’re pleased to support this worthwhile project that will not only help to continue the legacy of the red kiosk, but crucially will provide local communities with such a beneficial and life-saving function”.
Issued 26th August 2022
For further information, contact project organiser:
Liz Murray, Marketing & PR Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org t: 07795 298781
Image attached features supporters at the defibrillator launch, including L-R:
- Jane Wood, President, Sherborne Chamber of Trade
- Andrew Maddock, Midwest the Stationers
- Nicola Girling, Girlings Complete Hearing
- Cllr Juliet Pentolfe, Mayor of Sherborne
- David Hayes CBE, Chairman, Friends of the Yeatman Hospital