4:00 PM May 26, 2022
Business owners in an Ipswich shopping parade celebrate after a fundraising campaign to buy a defibrillator.
Ciro De Lellis of Fircroft Hairdressing in Fircroft Road came up with the idea as he saw the need to have one in the community.
At the end of 2021, the salon owner ran a campaign and set a target of £2,000.
In less than two months, the shopping parade raised almost £3,000 with the co-op, bakery, post office, pub, pharmacy and dry cleaners in the parade supporting the project.
Mr De Lellis said: “We are delighted to have managed to raise enough money for a defibrillator.
“We felt that for a shopping parade that catered to so many people, it was essential to have something that could potentially save the life of someone in our community.
“The chances of survival increase from 6% to 74% if a defibrillator is used within 5 minutes of a cardiac arrest. Hopefully it’s never needed, but it’s nice to know it’s there and ready to go when needed.
“I can only thank all of our customers and friends who kindly donated, and congratulations to everyone who helped exceed our original goal.”
The project was backed by ward councilors Sam Murray and David Goldsmith who collectively invested £1,200 from their local budget into the project.
Cllr Murray said: “We were delighted to advance £1,200 from our local budget towards the defibrillator to enable Fircroft hairdressers and the community to cross the fundraising finish line.
“They have all done an amazing job raising funds for this life saving equipment.
“Thank you to everyone in the community for their generous contributions. It has been a pleasure to be part of this process.”
The defibrillator was finally installed last week outside the East of England Co-op on Fircroft Road.
The grocery store has also covered the initial electricity costs for the installation of the AED and is undertaking the necessary weekly compliance check of the equipment.
Richard Easter, the co-op’s manager, said: “We have a lot of retired clientele, so we thought it would be nice to have something like this on the compound.
“We had donation buckets near the checkout as well as other stores on the parade. The response from our customers has been very enthusiastic.
The defibrillator is accessible 24 hours a day.
The funds cover the cost of the defibrillator, a locked cabinet to house the equipment, its installation as well as five years of maintenance expenses.