Newcastle defibrillator launch

Newcastle's defibrillator, the last one of the network of five installed in north Monmouthshire, is set to be officially launched before Christmas.

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Residents and interested parties are warmly invited to the opening ceremony on Saturday, December 22nd at 2pm to the village green where hot mince pies and punch (bring your own mug!)  will be served before the phone box will be officially dedicated as a defibrillator station.

The Village Life Project has been busy refurbishing the former BT phone box adjacent to the bus shelter so it can serve as a 'life-station' for cardiac arrest emergencies and supplement the other stations in the network; Cross Ash, Skenfrith, Maypole and Rockfield.

A collection will be made to raise money for some spring bulbs and summer wildflowers on a nearby verge, and to help support the Village Life Project, who rely upon grants and donations to fund their volunteer work.

Tom Pitts-Tucker explained that it's important to get trained up or refresh skills. "That's a general message for the whole of Monmouthshire of course. Lots of organisations out there are available to provide CPR training. The challenge lies in changing attitudes towards more resilience and self reliance in a crisis and overcoming peoples' reluctance to get involved. Within Llangattock VA Village Life is to hand! Anyone local would be welcome at one of our informal small group training sessions.

N Rockfield defibrillatorThey only need to email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to arrange it. We will be reinviting those who have been before for their annual refresher in due course," he added.

"The sessions are relaxed, friendly and quite sociable. They last a couple of hours, are accredited by Welsh Ambulance and result in an official certificate. Last year the Village Life Project managed to train or update about 120 people so the target  this year is 150! The tally to date since the summer has reached around 50. Our main drive will get going in the New Year, now that the work to get the two last new AEDs in place has been completed"

 Details of forthcoming 'lifesaving skills' classes on how to use the machine will be posted here and on the Newcastle Facebook page.