June 2023, by Megan Anderson.
Benenden Charitable Trust, partnered with Benenden Health, and has donated 82 Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to communities across England.
The Charitable Trust enlisted the support of its parent company, Benenden Health, after it received a high number of applications from Benenden Health members for the life-saving equipment, as part of a wider campaign to give many communities that currently have no provisions, the opportunity to provide an immediate response to cardiac arrests.
Communities that have so far benefitted from the donations include Maidstone, Corringham, North Harrow and Setmurthy – all recommended by members of Benenden Health.
The campaign comes after Resuscitation Council UK found the average out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) survival rate in England is 8.6%, with OHCA survival-to-hospital discharge being 50% lower in rural areas. These statistics draw stark comparison to other neighbouring developed countries such as Holland with a survival rate of 21%, and Norway with 25%.
Society Matron and Head of the Benenden Charitable Trust, Cheryl Lythgoe, led on the campaign and comments, “The use of an AED is invaluable in helping to save a life during a sudden cardiac arrest, so everyone at Benenden Charitable Trust and Benenden Health is delighted to be in a position to help our members and their local communities with these donations.
“And what responses we have seen so far! The mobilisation from the communities we have helped has been inspiring in itself. We have seen individuals volunteer to install the AED to the front of their home for easier access, to healthcare professionals volunteer AED training for their neighbours.
“This is a perfect example of our core value at Benenden Charitable Trust of giving a ‘helping hand when life takes an unexpected turn’.”
Maidstone resident and Chapman Avenue Area Residents Association (CAARA) Chairman, David Hatcher adds, “The CAARA and other Chapman Avenue residents express our gratitude for the donation of a defibrillator and cabinet by Benenden Charitable Trust and Benenden Health.
“The increasing pressure on the health service has shown that emergency response times in our area have increased over recent years, at times leading to excessive delays in the case of Category 1 callouts which is detrimental to a person’s survival rate.
“The AED now provides 24-hour availability in Maidstone, and the impact will be felt immediately in our community in that more lives could now be saved.”
The average AED machine in England costs £2,500, and through donations from members, organisations, fundraising events and from Benenden Health, the Charitable Trust was able to cover the cost of 81 machines for local communities across the country.
defibshop, an independent defibrillator distributor in the North West, provided the devices for this campaign, and donated the 82nd. Kerry Fairhurst Head of Marketing at defibshop explains, “95% of Sudden Cardiac Arrests (SCA) are fatal without immediate treatment. The proactive mindset and professionalism the Benenden Charitable Trust and Benenden Health have in tackling this issue, made it an easy decision for us to get involved and donate a device as part of this campaign.
“We look forward to continuing to support the Benenden Charitable Trust and Benenden Health in the future to create more heart safe communities.”
Find out more information about Benenden Charitable Trust.