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BRITISH HEART FOUNDATION 'BLESSED' WITH A HELPING HAND

This is an archived press release

Monday 12 July 2004

12 July 2004

BRITISH HEART FOUNDATION 'BLESSED' WITH A HELPING HAND

Last year the National Park Authority teamed up with the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and regional ambulance services to launch the life-saving project.

The aim is to raise £90,000 to buy 46 machines that could help the save the lives of people who suffer heart attacks remote areas of the countryside.

Millions of people visit the Peak District every year, which covers 555 square miles of countryside. If someone suffers a heart attack in hard-to-reach areas, rangers are often the first to arrive at the scene and can offer assistance in the minutes before paramedics arrive. Although trained in first aid, until now the rangers have not been equipped with defibrillators, which are used to restart the heart after a cardiac arrest, increasing the chances of survival.

Brian Blessed - actor, adventurer and president of Council for National Parks - visited the Peak District recently to add his support to the campaign. He said: "This is an absolutely marvellous idea. I would urge people to get behind the campaign and raise funds for this worthy cause.

"The Peak District is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited. It attracts millions of visitors and they can be assured that the hard working rangers are looking out for their interests."

During his visit to the Peak District Brian met trainee ranger Steve Thompson, who suffered a heart attack seven years ago. Steve said: "Seven years ago I had a fairly large heart attack, and without the successful use of a defibrillator on two occasions I would not be here today and training as a Peak District National Park ranger. It's great to see Brian Blessed giving his support to the Peak Park Lifeline Appeal - this project is a real lifesaver."

Since the campaign got underway last autumn, just over £20,000 has been raised, and the BHF has pledged a further £45,000.

Laurence Littler from the BHF said: "Since the appeal started last year we've been delighted with the donations and support we've received and we'd like to thank all the businesses and individuals who have contributed. The 21 defibrillators we've provided so far could be the difference between life and death for people living in, working in and visiting the Park."

To find out more about the appeal or to donate money please contact the British Heart Foundation on 01623 624558.

This is an archived press release

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