Residents in a Darlington village now have ready access to life-saving technology thanks to the support of a regional employer.
Community leaders in Great Stainton had been looking at how it might emulate other nearby locations by installing a defibrillator in the village which might be used in the event of any residents or visitors suffering a cardiac arrest.
The four-figure cost of the project was preventing it from going ahead until County Durham-headquartered Banks Renewables stepped in and covered the cost with a £2,277 grant from the community benefits funds linked to its Moor House wind farm near Sadberge.
The defibrillator has now been fixed to the external wall of the Kings Arms pub on Glebe Road in the village, and a training session is being organised to enable residents to learn how they might use it if the need ever arises.
It’s the second time that the funds have supported Great Stainton Parish Meeting’s community improvement plans in the last 12 months, with a combined £2,988 grant from the Moor House fund and the equivalent fund for Banks’ Lambs Hill wind farm near Stillington allowing for a speed monitoring system to be installed on the road running through the village.
Between them, the two wind farms generate almost 59,000 MW of green electricity every year, which is enough to meet the annual energy requirements of more than 15,100 homes, and by doing so, displaces almost 20,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the electricity supply network per annum.
Ian Ridley, chair of Great Stainton Parish Meeting, says: “We have a number of busy roads running through and near the village, so as well as wanting to provide the defibrillator for use by local residents and those who are working on the various farms that surround the village, we’ve also had the needs of the many thousands of people that pass through the area every day in mind.
“Even though we sit on the border of County Durham, Teesside and Darlington, we’re at least a 20-minute drive from any of the area’s hospitals, which would make it very difficult for paramedics to get to us in time if a cardiac arrest happened here.
“Many of the villages around the area have installed defibrillators in recent years, but because we don’t have a formal parish council, we simply didn’t have the money to pay for one ourselves until Banks Renewables stepped in to help out once again.
“We’re grateful to the Kings Arms for allowing us to access the power supply we need for the defibrillator, and while we hope it won’t ever be needed, having it close to hand will allow us to respond quickly to any medical emergencies that happen here.”
Eligibility for the Moor House and Lambs Hill community funds is normally restricted to projects and activities within the closest communities to each site, but projects in neighbouring areas may also be eligible if they can be shown to benefit people living within the closest communities.
Lewis Stokes, community relations manager at the Banks Group, adds: “The members of the Great Stainton Parish Meeting have taken a responsible, proactive approach towards identifying and addressing a possible problem before it has happened.
“We’re very pleased to be able to use some of the revenues generated by the wind farms to give the villagers what they wanted, and to be making even more of a positive difference to the lives of people living close to one of our sites.”
Community groups, or voluntary organisations in the vicinity of the Moor House and/or Lambs Hill wind farms which are looking for a grant of up to £3,000 should the fund manager at the County Durham Community Foundation on 0191 378 6342 to check if their group or project is eligible.