Care in the community

Shirley centre gets life-saving box.

A community centre is the beating heart of one Solihull district in more ways than one thanks to a smart new addition.

The Shirley Centre, located on the Stratford Road in Shirley, Solihull, is now home to a community public access defibrillator, a device used to help restart the heart of someone in cardiac arrest. The defibrillator is in a secure yellow box on the front of the building and is easily accessible in an emergency.

The life-saving device was funded by West Midlands Ambulance Service, the secure box was purchased by Shirley Lions and the venue was sourced by a local Fastaid Community First Responder.

Ken Barker, President of Shirley Lions, said: “We first heard about public access defibrillators at last years’ community carnival whilst speaking to Jeff, one of our local CFRs. We decided to help house one for the community centre and all 25 Shirley Lions members have been trained in CPR and how to use the defibrillator. It’s very easy to use and logical which means you really can’t go wrong!”

Alan Bailey, Chairman of the Shirley Community Association, added: “We’re a community centre and I’m always keen to engage with our community and this defibrillator is a great addition. I hope it’s never used but it’s reassuring to know it’s here to help anyone who suffers a cardiac arrest. Thank you to the ambulance service and Shirley Lions for the funding and to Creative Electricals for their help in fitting the device.”

Jeff Way, Fastaid Community First Responder and Vice Chair, said: “Arriving at a cardiac arrest case to see someone doing CPR and using a defib is a welcome sight to us and our ambulance service colleagues so it’s nice to see another device in the community.”