Wigan community in fundraising drive for lifesaving defibrillator

Community spirit is high in a Wigan township as residents pull resources to raise money for a defibrillator.
Jess Holt is spearheading a campaign to raise money for a defibrillatorJess Holt is spearheading a campaign to raise money for a defibrillator
Jess Holt is spearheading a campaign to raise money for a defibrillator

Jess Holt, who owns The Studio Standish, is spearheading the campaign to get the potentially lifesaving device, and needs nearly £1,300 to achieve this.

She wants this to purchase and install the defibrillator at the exterior of her fitness studio on Bradley Lane, so that it can be used by the community and businesses.

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Fundraising has seen Jess set up a “Run or Walk a Marathon in January” challenge, with more than £900 raised towards the target already.

And the nursery school located within the shared building - Little Owls Day Nursery, are also completing a sponsored run with the children, in an aid to raise funds. The run will take place at Little Owls on February 18.

Jess, who opened The Studio Standish, with partner Stuart Angus in June 2019, said: “Although we are closed at present, we wanted to set a monthly challenge to our local community and members, in an aid to keep people motivated and active during lockdown.

“The challenge was to ‘Run or Walk a marathon in Jan’ and encouraged people to either make a donation, or receive sponsorship for the event to help us raise funds for a community defibrillator.

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“The defibrillator will be located to the outside of the studio building, for all to access if ever required, and will cost £1275. I will also need to source a local electrician to install this safely.

“We set up a Facebook page event ‘Run or Walk a Marathon in January’ for the challenge, and encouraged people to post their activity and raise money.

“We are encouraging donations for those taking part to reduce the commission transactions on the page. Ideally we would love to be in a position whereby people locally could be encouraged to make a donation because they are supportive of our quest to introduce the defib.” She added that her and Stuart ran a shared marathon together over the weekend in a final push to raise some money.

While Shana Selby, manager of the Little Owls nursery, said she hopes the defibrillator will be accessible to all those who use the building and the local community.

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She said: “It’s difficult to determine an exact figure, but there are estimated to be over 60,000 out of hospital cardiac arrests every year in the UK. Survival rates are extremely poor at around 6%,but with timely CPR and defibrillation, this can increase to up to 74%.

“By placing more public access Defibrillators throughout the whole of England, and by training more people in how to use them, we hope to create a future where fewer people die of a cardiac arrest.”

To donate money for Jess’s fundraising, visit Collection Pot - The Studio Standish – Community Project and search for Shana Selby on JustGiving to give to the surgery.

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