Fundraising for life saving equipment

Posted on 5 April 2021

Fundraising can feel like a daunting task – particularly if you have what you perceive as a large target.  However, a lot of defibs and cabinets for communities are obtained through local fundraising.

Perhaps someone has needed lifesaving equipment in their local community and had / didn’t have access to it, or perhaps you are just aware of the difference lifesaving equipment can make to a person’s chance of survival.

Stuart Henley is one such person – a fireman who works in Dudley, with a military background, and an ex-local councillor.  He is currently raising funds for three combined cabinets (which house both a bleed kit and a defib) in his local community.  We sat down and spoke to him about fundraising in general and what motivates him.

So Stuart, what made you start fundraising in the first place?

I like to think I’m a bit of a community activist!  I originate from Telford but have lived in Halesowen since I was seven years of age and I really like to help out the community.

In my line of work I am all too aware of how over stretched the emergency services are, and therefore how important life saving equipment can be to a community.   I’ve always said it is better to have first aid near and never used, rather than not near and needed.

As a fireman we know basic first aid and I am aware of the crucial minutes – either for someone with a catastrophic bleed, or someone suffering from a cardiac arrest.  The figures are frightening.  Someone can die from a bleed trauma within 5 minutes, and the average time an ambulance gets to a critical patient averages out at 7 minutes.

What inspired you to fundraise for a combined cabinet?

I know how important both pieces of kit are.  In heavily populated areas, they can both save a life.

A traumatic bleed injury could be someone who has been in a traffic accident, or even fallen off the pavement, so these kits are perfect for high traffic areas.  And a defibrillator can restart a heart, and they also talk you through the process.

The cabinet also means that access can be gained 24/7, 7 days a week.  Often these kits may be available locally, but they are hidden in an office, behind someone’s desk, or the shop/pub may not be open.  The cabinet is registered with the local ambulance service, so when you dial 999, the responder can talk you through what you need to do with the equipment whilst an ambulance rushes to the scene.

Our Turtle combined cabinet details are available here

How is the fundraising going?

Well, it’s a little tough in a pandemic I have to say!  I normally do a cycle ride for charity and hold a carnival each year which helps raise funds, but at the moment we are a little stuck.  However, I have helped raise enough for one combined cabinet to be situated outside a children’s nursery in Halesowen – it will contain paediatric pads too – so I am just waiting for that to be installed.

In the meantime, myself and the local pub are coming up with fundraising ideas as another of the cabinets will be situated outside the pub, and the final one will go outside Express Taxi’s – which is on an industrial estate here – so surrounded by companies who also may need it in an emergency if an accident happened in their unit.

What would you say to someone about to start fundraising for their community?

Do it! Its great to something for the community you love, and you may well be instrumental in helping to save someone’s life in the future.