Kenilworth HeartSafe group gets official charity status

Ryan Smith, the practice manager at Abbey Medical Centre in Kenilworth
Ryan Smith, the practice manager at Abbey Medical Centre in Kenilworth

Kenilworth HeartSafe (KHS) is a town-wide initiative to make Kenilworth and District a safer place for people at risk from cardiac arrest or heart attacks.

The group was initially launched in September 2018 working in partnership and under the umbrella of Warwickshire Hearts. The two organisations continue to work closely together.

The Charity Commission for England and Wales informed Kenilworth HeartSafe on November 20, that they had met the requirements to be an independent charity.

Kenilworth HeartSafe has been entered onto the register of charities with the Registered Charity Number 1186462.

Keith Grierson, the founder of Kenilworth HeartSafe, said: "This is fantastic news and means that Kenilworth and the outlying villages of Ashow, Burton Green, Leek Wootton and Stoneleigh have their own charity dedicated to preserve and protect human life."

The charity is helping provide training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the use of automatic external defibrillators (AED) to residents of the community and establishing a community based team of CPR / AED trainers.

It's also providing support in the acquisition and maintenance of 24/7 publicly accessible defibrillators registered with British Heart Foundation in strategic locations across the community to provide broad geographical coverage.

The organisation is managed and operated by a team of six local volunteers including Seringa Dudley (a qualified nurse and first aid trainer) and Ryan Smith (non-clinical partner at Abbey Medical Centre, and member of the fire and rescue service and fire safety and first aid trainer).

Other members of the management team are Nicky Schofield, Stuart Heaton, Neil Morris and Keith Grierson.

When Kenilworth HeartSafe started in 2018 there were only five registered defibrillators available 24 / 7 to the public.

There are now 12 in the community and following promotions and fund raising campaigns more are going to come. The defibrillator expansion in town includes an AED to be installed soon at the Kenilworth Fire Station in School Lane, funded by money made available by councillors Alan Cockburn, John Cooke and Dave Shilton through a Warwickshire County Council grant.

Keith added: "The principal asset of Kenilworth HeartSafe charity are the people in the community equipped to respond to an emergency by applying CPR, using an AED and calling the ambulance service."

The charity encourages people to come forward and attend one of the free CPR training sessions, which take one and a half hours.

Places can be booked with Ryan Smith the practice manager at Abbey Medical Centre, which is located at 42 Station Road of Kenilworth, CV8 1JD. He can be contacted at 01926859955 Ext 506, 07411778536 or email Ryan.smith@abbeymc.nhs.uk

There is a goodwill refundable deposit of £5 per person.

The following dates are available for CPR training:

- Wednesday December 18 - 12.30pm

- Tuesday January 21, 2020 - 12.30pm

- Saturday February 29, 2020 - 10.00am

- Thursday March 19, 2020 - 6.00pm