New defibrillator installed in Kenilworth in memory of Anne Chrimes

Anne and Sam Chrimes
Anne and Sam Chrimes

As a Poppy Appeal record-breaker and regular blood donor Anne Chrimes was an inspiration to others in the town of Kenilworth.

More than six months after she died from blood cancer Anne’s memory continues to live on in the Kenilworth community.

Nigel Hawke (Kings Table), Sam Chrimes, Keith Grierson (Kenilworth HeartSafe) and Jeremy Wright MP.

Nigel Hawke (Kings Table), Sam Chrimes, Keith Grierson (Kenilworth HeartSafe) and Jeremy Wright MP.

Anne’s husband, Sam Chrimes, joined a group of local officials and friends outside the King’s Table cafe for the unveiling of a new defibrillator installed in her memory.

Sam said: “It is honouring Anne’s memory. It just seemed the right thing to do.”

The idea to provide a defibrillator for the town came while couple was away on holiday last year.

Sam said: “We noticed most places had more defibrillators than Kenilworth and Anne made a point of locating them when we returned. She was disgusted at the poor coverage.”

Kenilworth now has seven defibrillators available to the public, including the recently installed one at the King’s Table cafe.

The town already has several defibrillators available to the public and registered with the West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS), which include Abbey Medical Centre, the reception of the Holiday Inn, one outside St Nicholas School another at Kenilworth Cricket Club, one outside the Thomas Hearn furniture store in Warwick Road and one at Odibourne Allotments.

Sam added: “At the time she said we needed to do something to address this, even if we have to buy one ourselves.

“Not long after Anne’s passing I saw an article about Kenilworth Heartsafe and recognised Keith Grierson’s name as one of Anne’s Poppy contacts. I contacted Keith with an offer to pay for a defibrillator as my gift to the town in Anne’s memory.”

The Kenilworth HeartSafe group, launched last year under the umbrella of Warwickshire Hearts, a local registered charity, that has been working to make sure there are sufficient number of defibrillators available to be used across the town.

Keith Grierson, with Kenilworth HeartSafe, said: “I knew Anne quite well. Anne was very well known in the town because of her involvement with charities.”

Anne served as the Poppy Appeal organiser for the town. And last year the couple broke the fundraising record for the Poppy Appeal in town despite Anne’s illness.

Sam said: “Each year she managed to beat the previous year’s fundraising record.”

Anne was also involved in the lifeboat’s charity (RNLI - Royal National Lifeboat Institution) and twinning toilets too.

Apart from her charitable work Anne was also an active regular blood donor.

Sam added: “Anne donated 114 units of blood in her life. She started when she was 18 years old. I know of at least six people who have started to give blood because of Anne.”

Sam used to work at the Cooperative Men’s Wear and Drapery store some 50 odd years ago, which was at the King’s Table cafe location on Warwick Road.

Sam added: “We used to frequent here. Anne really liked the King’s Table. She’d often meet friends here.

“Hopefully, if nothing else, my gift will inspire others to do CPR classes and hopefully other charitable work around town.”