STREET Pastors are one step closer to securing a life-saving piece of equipment for the people of Billericay.
Billericay Street Pastors received a £500 donation from Essex Police to go towards a publicly- accessible defibrillator for Billericay High Street.
The group has been fundraising for the unit after an elderly man collapsed and died of a heart attack in the High Street, in February.
Phil Norton, Billericay Street Pastor co-ordinator, said: “There have been a couple of occasions where having a defibrillator in the High Street would have been a really good thing.
“During the incident outside Waitrose, the emergency services were there pretty swiftly, but sadly the man passed away.
“We are not saying a public defibrillator would have saved his life, but we think it would give people a chance – whether it is a chance to pull through or the chance to stay alive long enough to say good bye to their family.”
Billericay inspector, Mark Rayner, identified a pot of cash in the Essex Police coffers which was put aside specially to help good causes in the community.
The pastors also received £500 from Burstead Golf Course and MP John Baron’s Fun Walk.
Each defibrillator costs about £1,500.
Billericay Street Pastors is made up of volunteers who patrol the town centre in the evening during the weekend, to offer help and aid to revellers.
Mr Norton added: “We are really thankful to everyone who has donated money to the campaign.
“The fundraising is going really well – we hope to have two defibrillators for the town or possibly three.”
The street pastors want to put the defibrillator in the phonebox outside Connells Estate Agent.
MECHANICS OF SHOCK
A DEFIBRILLATOR is a machine that delivers an electric shock to the heart when someone is having a cardiac arrest.
The British Heart Foundation says when someone goes into cardiac arrest every minute without CPR and defibrillation reduces their chances of survival by ten per cent.
More and more public defibrillators are being installed in towns and villages throughout the county.
The nearest defibrillator to the High Street is at Billericay Train Station, but can only be used by approaching the ticket office.
To operate one of the defibrillators a member of the public dials 999, gets a code from the ambulance service, and takes the device to the person in need.
The Street Pastors will be advertising public sessions on a regular basis for the public to go along and learn how to use the defibrillators.
Businesses back the Street Pastor’s aim with fundraisers
BILLERICAY businesses are getting behind the campaign, by holding a number of fundraising events over the coming weeks.
On Saturday, One Stop Shop, in the High Street, will be holding a raffle supported by High Street stores, including Billericay Blinds, Iceland, New Look and Ask. Staff will be dressing up and selling cakes.
Hazle's Pottery Barn, in Barleylands Craft Village, is holding a charity pottery painting night tomorrow, from 7pm until 9.30pm, and there will also be a coffee and create morning on Friday, June 6, running from 9.30am until 1pm.
For more information, visit www.hazlespotterybarn.co.uk Those interested in donating to the defibrillator project should e-mail billericay@streetpastors.
co.uk or alternatively send a letter to Street Pastors, St Mary Magdalen Church, High