Milestone reached in award-winning weekly’s cash-raising campaign

A newspaper from Staffordshire has celebrated the success of a potentially life-saving campaign, which has seen ten defibrillators installed across its patch.

The Tamworth Herald launched its Have A Heart campaign last April, with the ambition of raising enough cash to pay for the ten devices, which can be used by members of the public when someone suffers a cardiac arrest.

The Trinity Mirror weekly – which has been named Newspaper of the Year for two years in a row at the Birmingham Press Club-organised Midlands Media Awards -  – urged readers, firms, clubs, pubs and groups of friends to raise cash for the devices.

In less than twelve months the campaign hit its target and the Herald marked the milestone with a front page (pictured) highlighting where the defibrillators would be installed.

Editor Gary Phelps said: “We were made aware of a lack of defibs last year by Keith Dawson, a local Community First Responder, and with his expertise launched the campaign to raise funds. The devices aren’t cheap – around £1,500 each – but we felt ten would be an achievable target.

“Crucially, we also asked readers to share their stories of cardiac arrest and how defibs could have helped them or their loved ones, which provided some remarkable, moving copy.”

Gary added: “Reporter Nick Reid has done a fantastic job of generating copy week-in, week-out to push the campaign. Within a few weeks donations were coming in and it just grew and grew. We’ve now hit our target of ten but we know quite a few people are still fund-raising, so there will end up being quite a few more defibs put in place.

“The campaign has raised awareness of heart issues and how to help someone who is in trouble, and by providing equipment in key places it will inevitably save lives. In fact, we know one of the defibs we provided has already been used.”