Mayor of March thanks town for live-saving fundraising efforts as fourteenth defibrillator is installed

Mayor of March, Rob Skoulding, presents a defibrillator to March 1st Scouts leader, Gavin Philpott.

Mayor of March, Rob Skoulding, presents a defibrillator to March 1st Scouts leader, Gavin Philpott. - Credit: Archant

The Mayor of March has thanked fundraisers for their efforts in helping fulfil his mission of installing vital life-saving defibrillators across the town.

Councillor Rob Skoulding, whose father died of a heart attack in 2009, set out to install dozens of devices when he became mayor in May last year, and 11 months later, 14 devices have been installed.

Each defibrillator costs just shy of £1,000, and the people of March - including the March Lions, March District Nursing Association and St. Peter’s Church in March - have clubbed together to raise funds so that more can be placed in the town.

Cllr Skoulding is set to carry on his campaign once he finishes his stint as mayor next month, but says he is very grateful for all the support his ‘Have a Heart’ campaign has received.

He said: “It doesn’t seem a long time ago since the first defibrillator was fitted into the town hall. We now have 14 dotted around the town.

“There are numerous people that I need to thank, from people donating money by holding coffee mornings, raffles, donations in people’s memories and organisations in the town.

“Special thanks go to the March Lions, the Rotary Club, the Air Cadets and St. John’s Ambulance for their assistance.

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“I need to mention Darren Briggs, who has spent hours of his own time and has used his own equipment to fit all the defibrillator cabinets and sorting the electrics free of charge and doing his bit for the community.”

Cllr Skoulding’s campaign has seen the life-saving devices placed in locations such as the Oliver Cromwell Hotel and the town hall, with three more being installed in Badgeney Road, Robingoodfellows Lane and Elwyn Road last Thursday – but Cllr Skoulding isn’t done there.

“We were told that a town the size of March would need roughly 50 defibrillators,” he said.

“There’s still so much of the town that hasn’t been touched, and even though I won’t be mayor as of next month, I’ll continue to get them set up so that if they’re needed, they can save lives.”

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