New defibrillators to be installed in Wallingford

A salon owner who launched a Heart of Wallingford campaign to fit life-saving defibrillators around the town is appealing to residents for help installing another five devices.

Susan Handy, owner of High Street salon Mary Handy Hair and Beauty kick-started her campaign three years ago and raised £2,200 to install the first defibrillator in St Martin’s Street one year ago.

Four more are to be installed; two at Wallingford School in St George’s Road, one at Fir Tree Junior School in Fir Tree Avenue and one at Wallingford Sports Park in Hithercroft Road.

Mrs Handy, who trained as a nurse before becoming a hairdresser, also wants five more installed, one at the Kinecroft, one in Reading Road, one by the riverfront and another two in St Market’s Square.

She said: “My aim is to bring as many as I can to the town centre, but for the time being, I think another five in key locations will create a real difference.

“These devices are absolute lifesavers and they really aren’t as difficult to use as people think. Some may argue we don’t need more than one, but what if you’re too far from the Square?

“They are the difference between life and death.”

She added: “Some people think they might cause more damage to people if they can’t do it right but the whole time your talking to someone on the phone, so you’re never left on your own.”

One is to be installed inside and one outside Wallingford School on March 21, on the same day school staff will be trained  how to use them.

The other two are set to be installed within the next four to six weeks.

Mayor of Wallingford Lynda Atkins, has also been fundraising for the devices.

She said: “It’s fantastic that we’ve managed to secure more defibrillators for the town and to be able to put them in places where people know and will be able to get to.

“To have them dotted around the town is the end goal and I’m just hoping we can achieve it as these devices are so important.”

Anyone who wants to contribute to the campaign donate to charity boxes at the salon or in The Body Training Studio on the same street.