Village ditches coal for a life-saving device to install Norfolk's 250th defibrillator

Date: 24 August 2016

Time: 11:00

Margaret Carter and Andrew Barlow with the new defibrillator in Hempton

A bucket of coal, tools for an apprentice, or a device that may one day save a life?

It was not a difficult choice for a charity established more than 130 years ago.

The life-saving device at Hempton Memorial Hall, near Fakenham, is the 250th community public access defibrillator to be installed in Norfolk since 2007.

Villagers gathered this week (23rd August) to mark the achievement that means a defibrillator is available if someone collapses and goes into cardiac arrest.

The latest installation was funded by rent money collected by Hempton Poor’s Land that was founded in the 1880s to help those in need.

Charity Chairman Margaret Carter said: “It used to buy buckets of coal for Christmas or tools for apprentices, but there is not a lot of demand for that now.
“I did a first aid course and thought it would be really good if the village had a defibrillator. It is something that could benefit the whole parish and it is good to know it is there just in case.”

The memorial hall is close to the village church, pub and bowls club, and residents have received training to use the defibrillator.

If someone calls 999 for someone unconscious and not breathing, an ambulance call handler will give an access code for the cabinet at the entrance to the hall.

Defibrillators are straight forward to operate, and Andrew Barlow, Community Collaboration Manager for the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST), added: “Effective cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and early use of a defibrillator greatly increase the chances of survival when someone is in cardiac arrest. I’d like to congratulate the people of Hempton for making this investment.”

For more information about the importance of defibrillators, visit

  • Summary:

    Norfolk's 250th community public access defibrillator has been installed by a charity that used to hand out coal to the poor