Hopes to avoid another town tragedy as defibrillators installed

a group of people standing in front of red telephone boxes in Fakenham

From left to right, Angela Raimondo (General Townshend club manager), Gilly Foortse (Mayor of Fakenham), Heather Davies (senior carer at Woodspring House), David Baines (electrician) and Tom Armitage (back right, proprietor of Woodspring house) - Credit: Lisa Black

A care home hopes to make sure another tragic death is avoided after installing medical equipment in their town.

Following the death of local woman, Fiona Woodcock, Woodspring House senior carer, Heather Davies suggested that the Woodspring House Christmas raffle be used to fundraise for a defibrillator in Fakenham.

When Ms Woodcock died in Fakenham town centre, the nearest defibrillator was around a 12-minute trip on foot, there and back to the police station.

two women stand in front of red telephone box

Heather Davies, senior carer at Woodspring House and mayor of Fakenham Gilly Foortse with the defibrillator in a phone box in the Market Square. - Credit: Lisa Black

The manager of Woodspring House, Lisa Black, said “It is good to give something back to the community and I’m so proud of the staff who all got behind the fundraising.

“One of our carers, John Woods even dyed his hair pink to raise money and we ran raffles.

“We joined forces with the General Townsend Club and raised enough for one defibrillator, which has been installed at the club.

a paramedic with a defibrillator

Paramedic Neil Grudge with the defibrillator outside the General Townsend Club. - Credit: Angela Raimondo

“Then we thought 'let's raise some more, and put one in the town centre', which is incredibly important.”

With support from the General Townsend Club, Fakenham Rotary Club and Nelson's Shantymen the price of one defibrillator was soon exceeded and it was decided to keep going to buy another machine.

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The two defibrillators have been installed outside of the club on Cattle Market Street and the other is in the telephone box in the marketplace.

a Electrician posing with his van

Fakenham electrician David Baines gave his time to install the defibrillators. - Credit: Lisa Black

Electrician David Baines gave his time to install the defibrillators.

Gilly Foortse, mayor of Fakenham, said, “Fakenham Town Council would like to thank Heather and Lisa for their success in bringing together so many people to provide not just one but two defibrillators in our town centre.

“It was a privilege for me to meet them both along with other members of their team to celebrate the installation of the defibrillator in one of the telephone boxes in the marketplace. A wonderful community effort.”

Should anyone need a defibrillator they should dial 999 and the call handler will know where the nearest one is and have the unlock code. You do not need training to use the machines.