The installation of a new, Automated External Defibrillator (AED) at a community supermarket means more potentially lifesaving equipment is now available in Newcastle and the surrounding areas.
EUROSPAR Newcastle on Castlewellan Road is the location of the new defibrillator, which will be available for the community 24/7, thanks to it being installed on the outside of the store, providing essential access even when the store is not open.
It means there are now 15 local SPAR and EUROSPAR stores in the South Down area with defibrillators installed. There are six at stores on the route from Ballynahinch to Newcastle, including Clough and Dundrum, plus one at EUROSPAR Ardglass, one each at SPAR Killyleagh, Quinn’s Stores in Downpatrick and SPAR Portaferry, and a further four situated SPAR Greencastle Street and EUROSPAR Newcastle Road in Kilkeel, ViVO Essentials in Rostrevor and at EUROSPAR Warrenpoint.
The team at the store fundraised with their shoppers to raise the money to have it installed as part of SPAR NI’s Heart of our Community campaign, an initiative to get Northern Ireland’s largest network of external defibrillators installed right in the heart of both urban and rural communities.
The new AED at EUROSPAR Newcastle, will be registered with The Circuit, the defibrillator network launched by the British Heart Foundation in partnership with the NHS, Microsoft and UK ambulance services, connecting every device to its local ambulance service and the public.
Lisa McKee from EUROSPAR Newcastle explained; “Our supermarket is nestled within a residential area on one of the main routes into one of Northern Ireland’s most popular destination towns, so it is vital that we have this potentially life saving equipment in the heart of the community – and that our shoppers, locals and visitors all know it is there.
“The device will be registered on The Circuit, and we will be training our staff in CPR as performing CPR is vital in improving the patient’s chance of survival before intervention with a defibrillator. We are so grateful to our shoppers in helping us raise the funds to install the device, and while we hope it is never needed, we also hope it can serve to save a life should it be needed in the area.”
The store’s teams fundraised alongside its local shoppers to raise the money to install the device through bucket collections within the store, and enjoyed an end of summer party as a final push for funds. Staff had a tombola for shoppers and dressed up for the occasion.
Bronagh Luke, Head of Corporate Marketing at Henderson Group which owns SPAR in Northern Ireland, and who spearheaded the defibrillator campaign added; “These defibrillators are easy to use, and the first port of call should always be 999. The Ambulance Service will talk the user through everything from locating the device, to CPR and use of it.
“We now have over 260 Automated External Defibrillators installed outside SPAR, EUROSPAR and ViVO branded stores in Northern Ireland, providing a potential lifeline to those who may need it when an emergency happens.
“We know that 16 lives have been saved thanks to our defibrillators, and we hope to see many more installed in the coming years.”
For more on SPAR NI’s Heart of the Community campaign, visit spar-ni.co.uk/heart-of-our-community.