Hall & Woodhouse (H&W), the leading independent family-owned Dorset brewer, has funded the cost to install a defibrillator for the community, at its Brewery in Blandford St. Mary.

The life-saving equipment has been installed on the Brewery’s premises, by the Brewery Tap entrance, providing members of the local community with 24-hour access to the machine.

H&W has had a defibrillator at the Brewery for the past six years and one at the Crown Hotel, in the heart of Blandford. Previously these machines have only been accessible during the typical working hours for team members and people visiting on-site.

All of the machines have been installed in partnership with South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) to ensure the equipment is of the highest standard. South Western Ambulance Service also provides ongoing support for the team at Hall & Woodhouse, as well as the community, by running complimentary training sessions for first aiders.

Mark Woodhouse, Chairman of Hall & Woodhouse, said: “We are delighted to be able to serve our local community through the installation of the defibrillators. Hopefully they will never need to be used, but it’s very reassuring to know that they are there and can be accessible by all in an emergency.”

Kate Fisher, SWASFT Assistant Community Responder Officer for Dorset, added: “When someone suffers a cardiac arrest, the heart stops suddenly and without warning. It means that blood, containing oxygen, is no longer being pumped around the body. The longer that someone is left without emergency life support, the harder it is to restart their heart, and the more likely it is they will not survive or may suffer permanent organ damage.

“So early defibrillation, as well as early recognition and CPR, for patients in cardiac arrest can make all the difference to the outcome. The first few minutes of a cardiac arrest are absolutely crucial, so having this life-saving equipment available, while the ambulance is on route, gives the patient the best possible chance of survival. The more communities we can support in having their own defibrillator, the better.”

SWASFT is running a public defibrillator training session for the residents of Blandford St. Mary and its surrounding areas, on Thursday, January 17 2019 from 7pm. The free session will be hosted by H&W in the Brewery Tap at its Brewery in Blandford St. Mary. All are welcome to come along, please call the Brewery Tap on 01258 486004 for more information.

Hall & Woodhouse is a local independent family company that leads the UK market in brewing and hospitality. The company has a collection of around 200 beautiful pubs, stretching from Bristol to Exeter, London to Brighton. The business is dedicated to supporting the Dorset community and its causes, having invested more than £30million into the county over the past five years, on top of their regular and extensive charity donations.

Please visit www.hall-woodhouse.co.uk or www.swast.nhs.uk for more information.