Heart start box for church hall

Five Bearsden churches have come together to install a potentially lifesaving defibrillator outside a church hall.

Member from All Saints’ Episcopal, Bearsden Baptist, St Andrews’ Roman Catholic, and the two Church of Scotland churches, Bearsden Cross and New Kilpatrick, gathered recently outside Drymen Hall of All Saints Church to unveil the community defibrillator.

Co-ordinator of the project Professor Rob Smith said: “This has been a jointly funded initiative along with the Craig Hodgkinson Trust.”

Prof Smith thanked Strathblane man Mr John Hodgkinson of the Craig Hodgkinson Trust which was set up in 2007 following the sudden death of their son, Craig, from an undiagnosed heart condition.

He said: “As many as 12 young people are killed in Britain a week from this condition.

“Mr Hodgkinson explained that since then the Trust has placed 142 defibrillators with clubs and organisations, with the help of the Scottish Ambulance Service.

“A number of these have been successfully used in cases of cardiac arrest.

And he added: “There is no doubt that defibrillators can save lives and should be regarded as an important part of first aid equipment.

“The machines are easy to use and importantly do not shock the casualty unless it is necessary.”

Rev Graeme Wilson of Bearsden Cross Church, said: “It is important that the defibrillator had been placed outside, rather than inside church premises, for the use of anyone in the community in the event of an emergency.”

His church has since funded a second machine, along with the Craig Hodgkinson Trust, which is also housed outside their church buildings.

This means that not only those at the shops or the Bearsden Hall near Bearsden Cross have access to a machine, but also those near Bearsden Station who will have 24 hour access to the life saving apparatus.