Clare Seed, Co-Founder of Cheltenham based Tidal Trainingand co-founder of the Public Hearts Campaign, that aims to raise awareness of and increase provision of public access defibrillators in Cheltenham. _______________________________________________________________
Mini Background A Bit about us
From our offices in Cheltenham, I'm delighted and very proud to run a team of State Registered Paramedics and medical professionals sharing lifesaving and life changing first aid skills which are invaluable in and out of the workplace.
What do you feel is special about our local community in this part of town?
Cheltenham, Leckhampton and surrounding areas have a fantastic community spirit and a genuine care for others. From Sue Ryder to LINC, there are many local charities and community initiatives, precipitating a more caring and collaborative community.
Tell us about your project.
I co-founded the Public Hearts Cheltenham defibrillator campaign three years ago to raise awareness and increase the number of lifesaving defibrillators in Cheltenham. In the event of a cardiac arrest, using a defibrillator increases the chance of survival by up to 80% - they are both life-changing and lifesaving. With over 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the UK every year, this piece of equipment is an invaluable addition to our communities. We are very fortunate to work with Cheltenham BID, Gloucestershire Police Licensing Division, South Western Ambulance Service and co-founder Chris is a cardiac arrest survivor. We also support The Rotary and their Restarting Hearts initiative which placed over 50 defibrillators into Gloucestershire communities. We’re happy to work with any individual or organisation interested in learning more about installing defibrillators in the local community.
What have been the biggest challenges and rewards?
Support for our campaign is growing within the local community. Naturally the Covid 19 pandemic has had an impact on our ability to fundraise and raise awareness, but, that said, with the recent cardiac arrest and successful recovery of footballer, Christian Eriksen, more and more people are becoming aware of the benefits of having public access defibrillators easily accessible in the community. Given that Cheltenham has so many listed buildings, it can be difficult finding a suitable location to house a 24-hour access defibrillator and secure the necessary planning permissions.
What keeps you going? What motivates you?
In terms of motivation, there are few more impactful things than helping someone when they need it most and particularly so in the event of a medical emergency. Being able to place more defibrillators in the community gives everyone of peace of mind that this essential piece of kit is there should someone need it. In an ideal world, Chris and I would like a defibrillator in Cheltenham town centre every 200m to support a population of around 117,000, not to mention the many visitors to our festivals throughout the year.
Dreams for the future.
Our vision is to see more public access lifesaving defibrillators and more individuals having the confidence to act and use them when they're needed. Rest assured, using a defibrillator is very easy, it tells you exactly what to do.
How can Cheltenham Connect help you? What do you most need in the way of resources and support to help you continue?
Cheltenham Connect already does a brilliant job of keeping the local community engaged and informed. I'd like to thank Wendy Ellyatt for her support in raising the profile for the Exmouth Arms defibrillator which has secured additional funding from the generosity of the community.
All support and donations to the Public Hearts Campaign are most welcome and if you want to donate or find out how to fundraise and get a defibrillator installed in your place of work or community area please visit www.tidaltrainingdirect.co.uk/public-hearts. You can check out the various Tidal Training courses, including essential first aid training at the website or call them on 01242 371999.