A Defibrillator for Forncett

Written by on behalf of the Defib Group.

Click pic for slideshow
Photos by Su Leavesley

The Defibrillator is now available for use, in the old phone box at the bottom of Mill Road (opposite St Peter's Church, near the School). On Monday 30th March we had a photoshoot and official ‘launch' supported by several of those who have supported and worked on the project over the last year. Photos by Su Leavesley.

One training / awareness session has already taken place and more could be arranged if there is sufficient demand: these would be free events open to anyone (12 yrs and over) who would like to familiarise themselves with the equipment and find out about basic CPR (Cardiac Pulmonary Resuscitation) first aid. Please contact Julia (details below) if you are interested.

In the meantime, if someone suffers chest pain

  • Call for assistance by dialling 999.
  • Do not leave the patient alone.
  • If it’s appropriate to get the defibrillator (the 999 operator will advise) then a code will be given to open the yellow defibrillator cabinet and access the machine to take to the patient.
  • The defibrillator will clearly 'talk through' what to do as you operate it.
  • Don't delay: Every second counts!

For further information or to enquire about training / information sessions, please contact Julia Hill, Thurston Cottage, Tabernacle Lane, Forncett St Peter, NR16 1LE (next door to Su): phone 01953 789944 or 07751030261: email:  

Update 6th November 2014

Following a fantastic response to the appeal for funds to provide a defibrillator, the target has now been reached (with the 'match funding' contribution from the Parish Council). The process of ordering the defibrillator and installation (in the old phone box at the bottom of Mill Road near the Church and School) is underway.  However, additional contributions will still be welcome to ensure that there are sufficient funds for installation, maintenance. training etc in the future, and to that end there will be an information session / fund raiser at the school in late November and a coffee morning at Claire and Mike Jordan's on 4th December.

The Parish Council has discussed the possible installation of a defibrillator in Forncett several times in the last year and now a group of volunteers led by Julia Hill and Keith Fromings have taken on the task of investigating and coordinating the project.  The following article is based largely on recent entries in 'The Forncett Flyer' (with the Editor's permission!), Parish Council minutes and other messages which have been circulated. It will be updated as the project progresses.  It starts with the latest news and progresses to earlier articles.

Click this link to read an article about the use of Community Defibrillators.

For further information or to enquire about training / information sessions, please contact Julia Hill, Thurston Cottage, Tabernacle Lane, Forncett St Peter, NR16 1LE (next door to Su): phone 01953 789944 or 07751030261: email:  

Any donations in the form of cheques should be now be made payable to 'Forncett Parish Council', as the Council will maintain a fund to pay for anything which might be needed in the future for installation, maintenance, training etc (earmarked for the Defibrillator project).

August 2014

Bartlett Signs (of Long Stratton) have agreed to provide a sign - free of charge - to be placed in the former phone box housing the defibrillator, listing the names of all donors (individuals, groups or businesses) who wish to have their donation recorded.

Forncett Flyer - August 2014

Most encouraging is the news that the Parish Council have agreed to match the funding that the group can raise from donations and fundraising efforts to achieve the £2500 needed to purchase a community defibrillator.  This is a BIG help and should mean that it shouldn't take too long before our defibrillator can be purchased and is ready for use.  At a meeting on 9th July it was decided that we will use the (free) services of an organisation called Community Heartbeat Trust (CHT) to guide and assist us with obtaining and installing a defibrillator in the village.  Martin Render, acting Chairman of the Trust, kindly agreed to come to speak to us on 29th July about Community Defibrillators and how the trust can help.  It was also agreed that the redundant telephone box at the bottom of Mill Road would be a suitable location as it's about as central as it's possible to be in Forncett.  Apparently phone boxes are a popular choice for locating community defibrillators - what a good idea!

The CHT will generously pay the first £500 towards the cost for us, which means that if we can raise £1000 and the PC matches it ... we're there!

Please give some thought to making a donation, requesting donations or running a fundraising event and look out for any events that you can come along to offer your support. This has the potential to save a life so please support the project.

Meeting in the Village Hall on 29th July

Michael Render explained the purpose of the defibrillator, demonstrated its use and told how ‘Community Heatbeat Trust’ (CHT) could help arrange for the installation of the defibrillator in the disused telephone kiosk in Mill Road (near the School and St Peter’s Church).  The meeting also had confirmation that, following the Parish Council offer of ‘Match Funding’ and the ‘starter’ contribution of £500 from CHT, the total required from donations and other fundraising would be just £1000 ... and, subject to the telephone kiosk being renovated and ready, the Defibrillator would be installed just 3 or 4 weeks later!

Parish Council - July 2014

A report of progress was received from Keith Fromings, recommending use of ‘The Community Heartbeat Trust’. It was agreed that Claire Jordan would be the Parish Council rep on the working group, and that the Parish Council would match any amounts raised by donations or fundraising to achieve the target of £2000.

Meeting at Village Hall - July 9th

Agreed to consult Community Heartbeat Trust for advice.

Forncett Flyer - July 2014

From Julia Hill:

Thank you very much to all of you who got in touch with me to say you support the idea of a defibrillator in Forncett. The Parish Council had already been looking into the idea so is very happy to back this project although the feeling is that it would be simpler to keep this as a Forncett project rather than joint project with some of our neighbouring villages as suggested in the last edition of the Flyer. To this end it has been suggested that a Forncett Defibrillator Group is set up to make a start on sorting out all the practical matters involved in fundraising, purchasing, installing, maintaining and publicising a Forncett defibrillator. If you would like to offer your support to this group, please get in touch to let me know. No expert knowledge is required, just some enthusiasm to make the project a success. The more help we get, the quicker Forncett will have a defibrillator ready to use when it's needed. To get the group started, there will be a friendly meeting at 7.30pm on Wednesday 9' July in Forncett Village Hall, open to anyone interested. If you think you might like to come along, or if you're interested but can't make it that night, do please get in touch to let me know.

What is a defibrillator and who can use one? 

A defibrillator is a portable machine that monitors the heart and gives an electrical shock to the heart when someone is having a heart attack. The machine will speak out loud clear instructions and has clear pictures on the equipment so it can be used by anyone. When a person's heart stops, the first few minutes are the most vital so if first aid and a defibrillator are on hand, the chance of survival increases considerably. Many community defibrillator projects have been set up in rural areas so that defibrillators can be installed in publicly accessible areas where ambulance response times are slower. Having a defibrillator available at the first sign of chest pain and heart problems will mean that someone's heart beat can be monitored and a shock can be given if needed before the ambulance arrives. Don't be afraid of a defibrillator, it's there to help and could save a life.

Parish Council - June 2014

It was decided that Forncett Parish Council would not join the group of surrounding villages attempting to secure a number of defibrillators for the area; the Council preferred the option of raising funds within the village. Keith Fromings said he would produce a summary of the requirements ready for a meeting of interested villagers.

Forncett Flyer - June 2014

From Julia Hill:

If you or a loved one suddenly became unwell with heart problems would you want to know that there was help nearby? So would I!

The East of England Ambulance Service says 'Sudden cardiac arrest claims around 150,000 -200,000 lives each year in the UK, with survival rates being around 5% - 10% outside of a hospital setting'. Out here in the sticks, we are quite a long way outside a hospital setting.

I met man in Bunwell recently who is trying to do something to solve this problem for the villagers of Bunwell by setting up a project to get a defibrillator for their village, and diligent readers of the flyer will know that Tacolneston already has a Defibrillator at the village hall.

A Defibrillator is a machine that passes an electrical charge through the heart muscle to try to re-establish a regular heart beat when someone suffers a heart attack.

So my question is: Who thinks it would be a good idea to have a defibrillator for the folk of the Forncetts?

We have the opportunity to join forces with the project in Bunwell, which may also be extended to Carleton Rode, and which would involve the purchase of several Defibrillators, sited in several locations in the area and possibly some local training sessions.

I'd like to gather a list of names of people living in the Forncetts who support the idea of the project to see what the level of interest is. Please note - This won't be taken as a commitment to do anything, but simply an acknowledgement that you think it's a good idea.

If you'd like to add your name and those of any other members of your household (with their permission), please either send me a quick email.

I'll let you know what sort of response I get in the next edition of The Flyer.

Parish Open Meeting May 2014

Several speakers described moves being made to set up a ‘consortium’ of local villages to install a group of defibrillators in the area, and invited Forncett to commit to joining the scheme.