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Life Saving Initiative Launched Across the North East

A new initiative has been launched across the region to provide vital public defibrillators to help save those experiencing a cardiac arrest.

Rotary North East’s One Life Initiative aims to work with community groups and businesses across the north east to raise awareness of the need for community public access defibrillators.

The defibrillators – sited in public areas, such as village halls, high streets and sports grounds - are shown to improve survival rates by up to 70 per cent.

The first to be installed under the initiative is at Penshaw Pharmacy near Sunderland, where Penshaw resident Katherine Mason-Gage set up a fund raising group called Hearts of Penshaw.

Katherine linked with the One Life Initiative, which gave help and guidance to see the project through to completion.

Katherine said: 'The Rotary project is a brilliant cause and I highly recommend it to any group considering going along this path to get in touch with them for advice and support.’

She also thanked teachers, parents and children at New Penshaw Academy and Our Lady Queen of Peace Primary School who raised money to help fund the Penshaw project, along with Caztec Electrical Contractors in Washington who installed the defibrillator cabinet free after being approached by the Rotary team.

Phil Hopps, Rotary North East Community Service Team Leader said: ‘When Hearts of Penshaw approached us we were delighted to offer our support.

‘The aim of the initiative is for us to work with groups and businesses to develop plans to increase availability of this potentially life-saving equipment throughout the region. Having these available in the community means that they can be used in the first few vital minutes following a cardiac arrest.’

Hearts of Penshaw already have plans for a further defibrillator in Shiney Row in the near future, which Rotary North East will oversee.

Phil said: ‘No training is required for someone to use a defibrillator as the device itself gives clear instructions, but when circumstances allow sessions will be arranged to familiarise people in CPR and the use of the equipment.’
Further information about the initiative can be found on Facebook @rotaryneonelife or by emailling

Pictured are Lesley Ann Atkinson, Carole Hughes, Rachel Sheriff (from Penshaw Pharmacy), Katherine Mason-Gage, and Stevie Leigh and Tilly representing the Penshaw Academy and Our Lady Queen of Peace Primary School.
Additional information

Life Saving Initiative Launched Across the North East
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