Hartlepool Marina now has a piece of life-saving equipment thanks to supermarket Tesco.
The town’s Tesco Extra store in Burn Road answered the prayers of a community fundraising campaign to buy a defibrillator for Navigation Point.
We thought it would be more beneficial to give one to the community and somebody down here might need it rather than just sitting in storeEmma Brown, Tesco Extra Hartlepool
It decided to donate a spare machine it had which staff raised £1,000 to buy after reading about the Hartlepool Round Table Appeal in the Mail.
The round table set up an internet fundraising page to buy a defibrillator at Navigation Point following the death of Robert Welch, 67, who died after chocking while eating fish and chips at Navigation Point last month.
Although it was said that a defibrillator would not have saved Mr Welch, a first aider who helped him while paramedics arrived found there was not a device in the area.
Mel Chambers, Tesco’s dotcom manager, said: “Just over a year ago I became a first aider. We didn’t have a defibrillator in store so we raised just over £1,000 to buy one from doing raffles, tombolas and cake stalls.”
But the company has since supplied Tesco with another defibrillator.
Emma Brown, store compliance manager, added: “We read about the appeal in the Mail and the person who died was the father one of our colleagues.
“It hit home and because we now have two defibrillators we thought it would be more beneficial to give one to the community and somebody down here might need it rather than just sitting in store.”
Tesco staff presented the defibrillator, which can restart someone’s heart in an emergency, to the group Defibs4Hartlepool, a group of four town dads who raise money to supply the machines to schools and the wider community.
Andy Goodwin of the group said of Tesco’s donation: “We are very grateful. It will be a great benefit and is life-saving equipment.”
It will be kept in the lock office of Hartlepool Marina which has staff trained how to use it.
Allan Henderson, of the marina, said: “It is another first for tourism improving the safety and comfort of visitors, and also another example of partnership in the private sector working together for the benefit of the community.
Mark Rycraft, who is chairman of Hartlepool Round Table and also a member of Defibs4Hartlepool, added: “I can’t believe the speed that this has all happened.”