Charity set up in memory of Hartlepool cricketer aiming to raise £48,000 for lifesaving defibrillators

The family of a popular Hartlepool sportsman who died after suffering a cardiac arrest say they are proud after a charity installed several lifesaving defibrillators across the town with more to come.

The DS43 Community Defibrillators group was formed by the parents of town cricketer Danny Shurmer after he died suddenly aged just 43 in June.

Pam and Bill Shurmer began working with community first responders David and Kelly Cairns and Graeme Smith with the initial aim of getting three defibrillators and cabinets put on the Bishop Cuthbert estate where Danny lived.

Thanks to the generosity of supporters, the group have now installed seven across the town, with five more set to be unveiled very soon.

The late Danny Shurmer. Picture by FRANK REID

Pam said: “We didn’t know much about defibrillators when we started but have learned so much.

"To raise the money to get these seven in place we are very proud of what we have done.

"We just try to keep people safe in Hartlepool. We don’t want anyone to have a cardiac arrest and it’s nice to know they are there.”

The defibrillators, which allow members of the public to potentially safe someone’s life in an emergency, have been installed at The Tall Ships pub; Merlin Way; Hartfields retirement village; Westbourne Methodist Church, Stockton Road; St Matthew’s Church Hall, Elwick Road; The Marine Hotel, Seaton Carew; and Sea Breeze Residential Park, Seaton Carew.

DS43. Back row (left to right) Sarah Shurmer, Sarah West, Pam Shurmer, Kelly Cairns, Jill Couchman. Front kneeling left to right, Bill Shurmer and David Cairnes.

But after mapping the town, the group has identified a need for a total of 29 to ensure every person is no more than 500 metres away from one.

They have set a target of at least £48,000 to achieve that, but hope to do more through continued fundraising.

Recently, the group has been awarded £9,900 from the National Lottery, £3,500 from Durham Freemasons, and £1,000 from Persimmon Homes’ Community Champions fund.

Pam added: “People have been extremely generous; individuals but also various community groups, who have raised quite a lot of money for us.

Louise Deer, guardian of the new defibrillator on Merlin Way at Bishop Cuthbert.

"Every penny is spent getting these defibrillators put in.”

A lot of work goes on behind the scenes including obtaining permission from land and building owners.

Each machine has its own dedicated ‘guardian’ to look after them. Most have been deployed meaning the ambulance service has asked for the defibrillators to be on hand ready for potential use.

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