East of England Co-op honoured at UK Heart Safe Awards for defibrilator campaign

Angela Weigh and Christian Bone of the East of England Co-op receiving the society's trophy at the U

Angela Weigh and Christian Bone of the East of England Co-op receiving the society's trophy at the UK Heart Safe Awards from Rachel Thomas of the Midland Hotel, venue for the event and sponsor of the Retailer of the Year category. - Credit: Archant

East of England Co-operative Society has been named among the winners at the UK Heart Safe Awards, which recognise employers and organisations that invest in life-saving equipment and training.

The society, which is based at Wherstead Park, near Ipswich, and operates across Norfolk, Suffolk and north Essex, picked up the Retailer of the Year trophy at the ceremony, held at the Midland Hotel in Manchester.

The awards were organised by Hand on Heart, which campaigns to promote awareness of sudden cardiac arrest in the young, raise funds to place defibrillators in schools and teach children how to save lives.

Awards were made in a total of 15 categories, to organisations which have supported the creation of a “heart safe” environment and to individuals involved in life-saving acts.

East of England Co-op was honoured for an initiative, in partnership with the East of England Ambulance Service, which has seen 100 community access defibrillators provided at locations around the region.

Christian Bone, head of community services at the East of England Co-op, said: “We’re very pleased that our work to install 100 community access defibrillators across the region has been recognised with such an accolade.

“This is a testament to our project partners, the East of England Ambulance Service and the communities who supported us in finding suitable locations and to spread the word about this potentially lifesaving equipment.”

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Victoria Burrows, chief executive of Hand on Heart and organiser of the awards, added: “We have had a hugely successful event this year with more award entries and attendees than ever before. The standard has been extremely high and so all nominees did extremely well to be shortlisted.

“We are thrilled to name East of England Co-op as Retailer of the Year. It is a fantastic achievement for the organisation and one that is very well-deserved.”