Central England Co-operative funds defibrillators in Suffolk stores from 5p carrier bag charge

The newly installed defibrillator now in place at our stores across Norfolk and Suffolk with Central

The newly installed defibrillator now in place at our stores across Norfolk and Suffolk with Central England Co-operative colleague Kevin Morris. Picture: CENTRAL ENGLAND CO-OPERATIVE - Credit: Archant

Five pieces of lifesaving equipment have been installed in shops across Suffolk, thanks to money raised from the 5p carrier bag charge.

The newly installed defibrillator now in place at our stores across Norfolk and Suffolk. Picture: CE

The newly installed defibrillator now in place at our stores across Norfolk and Suffolk. Picture: CENTRAL ENGLAND CO-OPERATIVE - Credit: Archant

Central England Co-operative has used the carrier bag charge which was introduced in October 2015 to help fund defibrillators across the country, with five having been set up in Suffolk.

The defibrillators have been established in Stowupland Petrol Station in Thorney Green, Eye Food Store in Church Street, Carlton Colville Food Store in Ashburnham Way, Lowestoft Food Store in Westwood Avenue and Bungay Food Store in Hillside Road East.

Martyn Cheatle, Central England Co-operative chief executive, said: “Sudden cardiac arrest is one of the UK’s biggest killers and, after listening to the concerns of customers, members and partners, we want to help tackle the issue by getting more life-saving equipment into communities where it can save lives.

“As a responsible business we place a huge focus on making a positive contribution to the communities in which we trade; we are delighted to be able to build on our existing work with this new project which we are funding from the carrier bag levy.”

The co-op already has a partnership with Oak Electrical in which it has established defibrillators at other stores in the country, with the firm working alongside paramedics and ambulance service trusts to identify the most suitable locations.

Where possible, the equipment will be installed outside allowing for community use whenever needed.

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Store staff, community groups, nearby businesses, first-aiders and residents will be given familiarisation sessions in using the kit during installation as well.

Graeme Clegg, store manager at Bungay Food Store, said: “We are delighted to have been such an integral part of ensuring this lifesaving device has been installed at our store.

“If the defibrillator is ever needed, anyone can call 999 and the emergency operator will pass on a code that will open the locked case that the equipment is stored in.

“The device will then talk the person through how to use it – it is easy to use and any member of the community would be able to do so if needed.”

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