‘Have a heart’ - new campaign to bring defibrillators to Honiton launched

PUBLISHED: 11:00 24 March 2018 | UPDATED: 09:14 28 March 2018

Daniel Lavery and Caroline Kolek, part of the team fundraising to bring new defibrillators to Honiton.

Daniel Lavery and Caroline Kolek, part of the team fundraising to bring new defibrillators to Honiton.


A campaign to bring four life-saving defibrillators to Honiton has been launched – with a fundraising target of £5,000 set.

Town councillor Caroline Kolek is working with the council and a number of figures in the town to bring the kit to Honiton, two of which will be placed in the town centre.

The ‘Honiton has a Heart’ appeal is seeking donations from residents, businesses and clubs to realise its monetary goal, and a street stall to raise awareness of the appeal is being planned.

Mrs Kolek said: “Public-access defibrillators save lives. Numerous towns and even small villages across the region have this life-saving equipment available should an emergency arise.

“However Honiton is bereft of such equipment and this needs to be rectified urgently. “Sadly these things don’t appear by themselves. Other places across the country only have them as communities have come together to raise the funds through donations, charity events and collections.”

Mrs Kolek has teamed up with Devon Freewheelers founder Dan Lavery, Jon Leisk of Honiton Youth Football Club and GP Dr Janet Ward to manage the appeal.

The campaign also coincides with a drive to increase knowledge around CPR, and several drop-in sessions are being planned at the Devon Freewheelers hub, in Lace Walk car park.

Mrs Kolek added: “This is exactly the type of work the town council wants to be involved in, working with members of the community to ensure Honiton is well resourced and served.

“If only one of the public access defibrillators saves a life – it shows that it has been totally worthwhile.

“Anyone wanting to make a donation to this vital appeal can send a cheque to Honiton Town Council, clearly marking it for the ‘Honiton has a Heart Appeal’.”

Mrs Kolek also quoted figures which reveal approximately 3,600 heart attacks happen while people are out in the community in the South West each year.

According to the stats, the chance of survival is around 10 per cent, but increased to more than 50 per cent when there is access to a defibrillator.

Mr Lavery added: “This is going to become increasingly important as ambulance waiting times are getting longer.”

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