Knutsford First Responders

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June 2014

Hospital Collaboration

The excellence of our Hearstart courses has been recognised by the South Manchester Cardiac Rehabilitation Centre.

Over the next few months we will be having members of the Cardiac Rehabilitation team attend our courses; they will be sending an increasing number of their patients, carers and families to our courses, and we may give some courses at the Centre itself.

Read more at our sister site...

New Van

After eight years of service we have retired our trusty old van and, thanks to generous donations, bought a brand spanking new one. The biggest chunk of funding came from Barclays Technology Centre, Radbroke Hall. The remainder was collected from local people at numerous fund raising events.

Our chairman, Adrian Rees said “On behalf of the Trust and the whole Knutsford Community, we would all like to thank Barclays based at Radbroke Hall for their generous donations. I am delighted to announce that with Barclays generously donating a significant proportion of the funds required and the balance being raised by many fund-raising events held by the Trust around Knutsford and the generosity of the Knutsford public, a brand-new First Responder vehicle has been purchased.”

New Van
Stuart and Adrian with the new van.

A spokesperson for the Families Day committee from Barclays Technology Centre Radbroke Hall, Knutsford said “We are delighted with the amount raised for Knutsford First Responders and would like to thank everyone who supported us to make this happen. Barclays has a fantastic community investment programme that encourages employees to get involved in the causes they care about. It’s about giving back our skills, time and energy to support our local communities – so we’re thrilled to have raised £6,500.

This funding will now enable Knutsford First Responders to help local people and hopefully save more lives in the Knutsford area.”

Barclays Fund Raisers
Stuart with the Barclays fund raisers.

Stuart Willis, a First Responder, with the assistance of his wife Hayley, is responsible for organising the Trust’s fundraising campaigns. He added “I am proud of our fund-raising team for raising the balance needed to buy and equip the vehicle. Great thanks must go the Barclays Team for raising a substantial amount of the required funds in the last 12 months through various events. MDR must also be praised for designing the new signage on the vehicle and in their generous contribution to the fund.”

May 2014

Lions Strret Fayre

The Knutsford Lions held their annual Street Fayre on the Spring Bank Holiday Monday, 26th May.

Knutsford Community First Responder Trust were present with our fund-raising stand manned by our team of enthusiastic helpers! We had a busy day and collected nearly £150 in donations thanks to the generosity of the Knutsford public.

We raffled a specialist food hamper during the day. The winner was Knutsford Town Councillor Vivian Davies, seen here being presented with her prize by our Team members: Charles Smith (on the left), Geoff Dalton (on the right) and Stuart Willis (in the centre).

Lions Street Fayre

Stuart and his wife Hayley were in charge of our stand planning and goods and worked tirelessly throughout the day with the team in support to make the event such a success. We also distributed leaflets detailing our upcoming Heartstart Courses for the rest of the year.


The Annual General Meeting was held on 19th May. The outgoing chairman, Lisa Johnson, gave an overview of the activities in the last 12 months, reporting another successful year. The full report can be read here: Download 2014 Chairman's Report

Adrian Rees was appointed as the new chairman. Adrian stated: "Our aim and commitment remains to expand the Trust's support to our Knutsford Community".

Adrian Rees

March 2014

34SP Logo

We would like to thank, our website hosting company, for providing their hosting services for free.

Their representative Olly volunteered this arrangement saying "'s our pleasure to help UK charities in some small way - every penny counts after all!"

Lady Captain Photo

Golf Club Captain Sponsorship

Congratulations to Rachel Horsley in becoming the new Lady Captain of Knutsford Golf Club.

We are very pleased to learn that she has chosen the Knutsford Community First Responder Trust as her nominated charity for the year.

Rachel is shown at the Golf Club holding the Knutsford Community Heartstart 2014 Campaign Poster.

Many thanks to Rachel for supporting us.

February 2014

Two of our members have married!

Stuart Willis, part of our First Responder team and Hayley Dunn, a Heartstart facilitator tied the knot at the Unitarian Chapel in Knutsford.

We send sincere best wishes to a wonderful couple.

Stuart & Hayley wedding photo

New Heartstart Website

We have launched a new Knutsford Community Heartstart website where you can read the latest news and book a course.

January 2014

Defibs on Street Plan

A new Knutsford street plan board is being installed around the town and it includes the defibrillator locations indicated by the symbol: Defibrillator Map Symbol

Town Map

December 2013

Cardiac Smart Award

Knutsford town and the Knutsford Community First Responder Trust (KCFRT) won a major award in December. We received a Cardiac Smart Award from the North West Ambulance Service for our work to extend training in the town on first aid and the placement of public access Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs). The KCFRT has trained over 1,000 people in Knutsford and runs sessions bi-monthly that are completely free to attend. Additionally the town now has 15 public access AEDs. The KCFRT has also trained many local groups and organisations in emergency life support.

The CardiacSmart initiative, born from the Chain of Survival Partnership in conjunction with the British Heart Foundation (BHF), works to extend the network coverage of public access AEDs within local communities across the North West; as well as training more individuals in basic life support skills. The North West Ambulance Service presented Knutsford town with a Gold award, highlighting our exceptional achievements. Councillor Vivien Davies, Sylvia Thomas (KCFRT HeartStart Trainer) and Alan Parker (KCFRT Treasurer) accepted the award on behalf of the town in an awards ceremony held at Bolton's Reebok Stadium early in December.

Cardiac Smart Award Presentation Photo

Around 30,000 people suffer a cardiac arrest outside of hospitals each year, and for every minute a person does not receive treatment their chance of survival decreases by 10%. Cardiac arrest is the most extreme case of an emergency, as the patient loses consciousness at once and there are no signs of life. Defibrillators give an electric shock through the chest wall and help to restore a normal heartbeat. No one knows who will suffer a cardiac arrest, but what is known is that the speed of response, Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation within the first few minutes will improve the patient’s chance of survival and recovery.

September 2013

Booths Awareness Day

We had a successful day in Booths supermarket on 6th September, making more people aware of the services offered by the Trust to the local community. We were pleased to receive £290 in donations.

The event was reported by the Knutsford Guardian.

April 2013

Waitrose Donation

Responders Stuart and Alan were presented with a cheque for £200 from the Waitrose Community Matters scheme.

Lions Street Fayre Stall

December 2012

We have registered with JustTextGiving by Vodafone. This means donors can easily contribute by texting our Individual Code, KCFR00, followed by the amount, to the phone number 70070.

Amounts of £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10 can be sent.

For example the message "KCFR00 £10" would send £10 to the Knutsford First Responders Community Trust.

You can read more about this facility at the Vodafone site.

Just Text Giving Logo

June 2012

At the Lions Street Fayre on 4th June we raised just over £260 by running a tombola for adults and one for children together with a children's lucky dip.

Lions Street Fayre Stall

May 2012

We purchased and installed a defibrillator in the Cheshire Health Club & Spa at Warford Park, Mobberley.  It was funded by donations from the Rotary Club of Knutsford, the people of Knutsford and Mobberley, and the British Heart Foundation.

A training session was held for staff at the Spa.

Cheshire Health Spa Presntation Photo

Pictured are Mark Davies (gym manager), Charlotte Williams, Neil Moss, and David Thompson, with First Responders Sylvia Thomas (co-ordinator) and Stuart Willis.

This brings the number of defibrillators installed by us to 15. You can view all the locations on the defibrillators page.

February 2012

At our British Heart Foundation (BHF) Heartstart course on 2nd February Stephanie Smith became the 1,000th person to undertake training in Emergency Life Support skills. Knutsford Town Mayor Stewart Gardiner presented Stephanie with her certificate.

Dr Philip Edgecombe and Mrs Nancy Frith of the local branch of the BHF and Gail Sargerson of the regional BHF attended the presentation together with Mrs Jean Mitchell whose husband Terry set up the Knutsford Community First Responders.

Stewart Gardiner said, “The work of the Community First Responders in the town is highly valued. This training course and the public access defibrillators placed around the town by the Trust are an important complement to the First Responder services”.

The Heartstart course is run free of charge. The 2½ hour course covers the unconscious patient, cardiac arrest (including CPR and the use of a defibrillator), heart attack, choking and major bleeding.

For further details of the course, or to book a place, please contact Pauline Bett on 07530 288640.

Stephanie receiving her certificate Stewart Gardiner practicing CPR

Town Mayor Stewart Gardiner presenting Stephanie Smith with her certificate.
In the backgound, left to right:
Pauline Bett, Dr Philip Edgecombe, Nancy Frith, Gail Sargerson, Jean Mitchell and Simon Hutchence.

Town Mayor Stewart Gardiner practicing CPR.

December 2011

A presentation ceremony was held on Monday 5th December at the Knutsford Wine Bar where three defibrillators were presented by their sponsors to their new owners.

The event was hosted by Lisa Johnson, the chair of the Knutsford Community First Responder Trust. She thanked the sponsors who generously donated the money for the defibrillators and the businesses who agreed to have them on their premises. Lisa went on to say, "The defibrillators are so important because the chance of surviving a cardiac arrest outside hospital is generally 5% but if CPR is used and a defibrillator is applied within 5 minutes the chance of survival rises to 60%."

"The average across the UK is about 1 public access defibrillator per 6,000 people. In Knutsford we have 1 per 1,750 people. And by March we will have trained 1,000 people in CPR. So thanks to our generous sponsors Knutsford is a good place to have a heart attack!"

Liza Johnson thanking the sponsors and new owners of the defibrillators.

Liza Johnson thanking the sponsors and new owners of the defibrillators

Liz and Anthony Whitworth presenting to Vanessa Hatton of Knutsford Wine Bar.

Liz and Anthony Whitworth presenting to Vanessa Hatton of Knutsford Wine Bar

Linda Marshall presenting to Margret Ashworth of Knutsford Civic Centre.

Linda Marshall presenting to Margret Ashworth of Knutsford Civic Centre

Eileen Podmore of the Knutsford League of Hospital Friends presenting to Tony Ranfield and Mark Burton of Egerton Youth Club.

Eileen Podmore of the Knutsford League of Hospital Friends presenting to Tony Ranfield and Mark Burton of Egerton Youth Club

September 2011

The North West Ambulance Service held their AGM in the Knutsford Civic Centre on 22nd September. We were actively involved in the event and provided a dramatic illustration of someone suffering a heart attack. Our play showed the patient experiencing typical symtoms, his daughter making a 999 call, and the timely actions of the First Responders and the ambulance paramedics.

Patient with symtoms

January 2011

One of our sponsors, Tabley Bistro, held a French Evening on 28th January, which was attended by members of the team.  Good food, wine and entertainment were enjoyed by all and the sum of £70 was donated to the Knutsford First Responders by the Bistro.

They are holding an evening event for St Patrick's day on 17th March.

November 2010

We held an awareness event at Booth's supermarket on the 26th and 27th. It was a great success. We raised £620 and 15 people signed up for the HeartStart courses in the first half of 2011.

Summer 2010

During the summer we took part in four community events to promote what we do and raise some additional funds.

In May, we had a great time at the Knutsford Street Fayre where we dressed as Victorians in keeping with the Fayre’s Mrs. Gaskell theme.

In July, the Knutsford Fire Station Open Day and St. John’s Wood Fun Day were both excellent events. Our face painting was particularly successful at the Fire Station.

In August, the weather stayed dry and sunny at the Pickmere Summer Fun Day helping to make it an enjoyable and successful event. We are grateful for the donation of £100 from the organisers.

We have also received funds from:

Fit4Life Fitness Day (held in March) £2,000.00
Grassroots £1,548.00
Inner Wheel Club of Knutsford £232.50

Thank you all for your generosity!

We have good news from the Defibrillator Initiative: we have purchased an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) for Bexton Pre-School Nursery and trained members of staff in its use. You can read more details in the Knutsford Guardian.

We have also identified three more places within the community in which to place AEDs so an order is on its way to the British Heart Foundation.

April 2010

Three new defibrillators have been installed in pubs in Knutsford, bringing the total up to ten. We wish to thank our donors for their generosity.

The Lord Eldon, Tatton Street Knutsford Town Council
The Cross Keys, King Street Sheldon’s Lottery
The Angel, King Street Knutsford Old Folks Club

March 2010

On Saturday, 27th March a charity fitness day was held at the Civic Centre. The aim was to promote exercise in the community while raising money for two local charities - Egerton Youth Club and Knutsford First Responders. Exercise classes and challenges, aimed at all ages, ran throughout the day and it was rounded off with a ceilidh and supper.

The event was organised by Linda Marshall and some of her friends as a celebration of twenty years of teaching fitness and dance in Knutsford.

Super heroes in fitness charity challenge

Everyone had fun and it was a tremendous success. The amount of money raised will be determined later in the year. Thank you all.

November 2009

On Friday 27th and Saturday 28th we held recruitment days at Booths supermarket. These were a great success. As well as gaining 9 potential new First Responders, we signed up 21 people for HeartStart first aid courses and collected £615 in donations. This money will enable us to buy another defibrillator for the area. We would like to thank everyone for their generosity.

The Knutsford Guardian covered the event. You can read their article here.

May 2009

The campaign to save our service has been successful.

Following a meeting between the Central & Eastern Cheshire Primary Care Trust, North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) and other interested parties, agreement has been reached that will mean the formation of a new higher level of volunteer responder. NWAS has published the following Press Release:

“NWAS is pleased to announce that Knutsford is also in the running to become a pilot for a new increased level of training. Over time it is hoped that many Knutsford responders will take up additional training that will enable them to respond at a higher level and therefore provide even more benefit to their local community. Until the new scheme is finalised and implemented, existing Knutsford CFRs will continue to provide their current level of service."

Kevin Mackway-Jones, Medical Director for NWAS said: “A steering group chaired by the Central and Eastern Cheshire PCT Chief Executive and attended by senior NWAS representatives together with CFR Scheme Co-ordinators and CFR members has been established to set out the future plans of CFR schemes and all other community developments. This has identified Knutsford as a potential pilot area for a greatly enhanced service. It is anticipated that this type of service will greatly benefit local communities and will assist the Trust and its NHS and emergency service partners in their delivery of quality patient care and experience.”

The Knutsford First Responder Trust is delighted with the outcome of the campaign and will work closely with NWAS to ensure that standards do not drop within the Knutsford and other Cheshire areas.

The members of the Trust would like to thank everyone for their support.

It is hoped that support will continue with more volunteers joining to implement the proposed enhanced service.

March 2009

North West Ambulance Service announced changes to downgrade the service provided by the Knutsford First Responders. We launched a campaign to protect our service.

December 2008

An anonymous donation of £600 was received. We are truly grateful to the donor. This money has been ear-marked for a new defibrillator.

First Responders held an Awareness Event over 2 days at Booths supermarket, Knutsford. Over £1000 was raised through generous donations by members of the public. Several people signed up for the HeartStart courses.

There will be another Awareness Event at Booths supermarket, Knutsford on 27/28 November 2009.

November 2008

A defibrillator was installed at the Park Gate Inn, Over Peover. The money had been raised by a sponsored runner in the Tatton Park 10k run and was matched by Barclays Bank plc.

Presentation of defibrillator to Park Gate Inn Sponsored run

June 2007

On the 8th June 2007, Knutsford Community First Responder Trust became a registered charity. Our Charity Number is 1119568.

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