Good news as an amazing Donate for Defib project in Jill Dando’s former town raises £21,000 to save lives

By Jill Dando News

An incredible team are helping to save lives with an amazing project starting in Jill Dando’s former town.

The project began in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, also the founding home of Dando News, training up, Young, real life journalists in memory of Jill.

Josh Bell, Tom Farrand, Christina Chell, Peter Elston, and the team including a Cardiologist, Paramedics, and electrical contractors are still working hard to raise funds and work with local businesses and organisations who want to purchase a defibrillator.

£21,000 has already been raised with more in the pipeline, and they have over 22 groups fundraising for the project.

They have held a Race Night, Quiz Night, Raffles and are excellent at mobilising the support of the community.

They have already installed 15 Defibrillators, with more currently on order and organisations currently fundraising. 

They have the wonderful support from Aardvark AVO Electricians and AMS Electrical Services who are kindly installing the defibrillator cabinets for free, as a wonderful contribution to this project. 

Prof. Graham Stuart, Consultant Cardiologist – an eminent consultant cardiologist, was also welcomed to the team in December 2023.
He said: “I am delighted to support the excellent work of Donate for Defib Weston-super-Mare Project.
There is absolutely no doubt early cardioversion can be life-saving in patients experiencing a cardiac arrest. Moreover, the earlier the cardioversion takes place the better the outcome.
The best way to achieve this is to increase the availability of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in their community. This is an incredibly important project!!” 

What they have achieved is incredible and of huge benefit to the people of Weston, giving those around the defibs the best chance on their worst day. 


Lisa Warrington, GWAAC’s Defibrillator Coordinator said: “This group is unstoppable, and they are doing wonderful, wonderful work. CPR and defibrillators make a massive difference to someone surviving a cardiac arrest – from less than one in 10 survival rates to over seven in 10.

“If someone gives effective CPR, these chest compressions help keep blood flowing throughout the body and keep the patient alive. And a defibrillator can restore the heart’s rhythm and enable the patient to start breathing for themselves again. 

Each 1-minute delay where no-one does anything to help, decreases survival chances by another 10 percent, so CPR needs to be delivered immediately, and defibrillators need to be close by, publicly available and used.

And this is where communities make a real difference. GWAAC’s incredible crew are the first to say that bystanders stepping in during those precious early minutes are crucial to the chain of survival. 

And this is why the work of the Donate for Defib WsM Project is so important and so welcomed and supported by GWAAC”. 

GWAAC also mentioned that “We can’t wait to see what 2024 brings for the group, we can only imagine how many more defibrillators they will provide for the people of Weston super Mare”. 

Their latest fundraising events include a huge variety including upcoming Race Nights, and Only Fools & Horses Fundraiser, please see more information via our Facebook Page: 

The Project also works with Great Western Heartstarters in providing key awareness and learning to venue holders and members of the public on the Chain of Survival and the key interventional care that can be delivered from a defibrillator.

The Project has recently been in contact with various organisations within the local area, including ABC First Aid (SW), Mini First Aid North Somerset, and M De C B Medical, and hopes that soon an awareness team can be set up to implement the rapid expansion of their work and the vital knowledge that is paramount for members of the public to be aware of to save someone’s life if someone experiences a Cardiac Arrest. 

How you can help 

Donate for Defib WSM Project is run entirely by volunteers, and they are looking for more people to join the team. They are looking for people to work on partnerships, fundraising, project planning, operations, research, events, and communications.
Please get in touch if you’d like to chat with the team. 

If anyone would like to support this project, you can donate at their Enthuse page 

If you would like a defibrillator on your building, please get in touch with the team: Email: 

Project Phone (Mobile): 07749036032

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