A new, life-saving defibrillator has been installed on South Shields’ Ocean Road – in the latest stage of an initiative led by heart charity the Red Sky Foundation.

The charity’s defibrillator project in and around South Tyneside has been supported  by the town’s Women’s Institute branch, Sisters of Shields and Ocean Road Community Association.

And e Community Association will not just house the machine but will ensure it is kept in readiness, should it be needed.

This device has been added to a growing list of life saving units the charity has strategically placed in South Tyneside. The Foundation and the WI have pledged to keep fundraising until there is a machine every 500m.

They are also planning to hold a series of free sessions at the community centre on Ocean Road to show people how simple they are to use and to educate members of the South Shields community how to save a life using early CPR and defibrillation.

Red Sky Foundation founder Sergio Petrucci said every machine installed, is potentially a life saved, another milestone and “a marvellous example of what can be achieved when a community joins forces with a clear aim in mind.

“Since our project began at the start of the pandemic we have more than doubled the amount of defibrillators made available to the public in South Tyneside”

Jayne Rudd, President of Sisters of Shields WI, said the organisation was “over the moon to be teaming up with Red Sky Foundation again, this time in partnership with Ocean Road Community Association.

“The number of defibrillators popping up over the town since we got our first one back in March is fantastic,” she said, “and we are keen to keep going until there is one on every corner.”

“It has been a great experience and pleasure working with Sergio from Red Sky Foundation and Jannette from the WI,” said centre manager, Liz Stephenson.

“They are amazing organisations doing such a great job for the community of South Tyneside.

“The defibrillator isn’t just for visitors to Ocean Road Community Centre but for the whole community and although we hope never to use it, it’s there now at our centre for the worst case scenario.

“Thank you to our valued and supportive members and Trustees who have helped raise the money.”

In addition to supplying defibrillators across the North East, Red Sky Foundation has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds to help fund vital equipment for the Children’s Heart Unit at the Freeman Hospital, including a unique organ care transplant system and funded the first year salary to successfully trial specialist Fontan nurse post in the region, the first of its kind in the UK.

For more information, visit www.redskyfoundation.com

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