Abbeyfield House manager, Heather Dixon, identified a need for a defibrillator at the east end of Alnwick and, as she could not find one, suggested to the Executive committee that who run the care home, that it would be good to have one in the local area. It was agreed and a project plan was put in place.

Funding was sought from the Community Chest, Alnwick Lions and Alnwick Round Table to purchase a unit and a secure housing through the Rotary “One Life” initiative, which seeks to improve access to defibrillators so that in an emergency they can be accessed easily.

"We are a not-for-profit organisation providing care for elderly residents so it makes sense to have a defibrillator available, but we thought it would be so much better if it were available to the local community. Our Admin staff made all the applications for funding, our Handyman arranged a suitable site, and it is in place and operational thanks to the various organisations who have helped fund the project."

Jim Thompson, Chair of the Executive Committee

Photo left to right; Phillip Hopps, Rotary North East; Jim Thompson, Abbeyfield House, Alnwick; Councillor Gordon Castle, Northumberland County Council; Sandra Shepherd, Alnwick Lions; and Heather Dixon, General Manager of Abbeyfield House, Alnwick.

Councillor Gordon Castle, a retired R.A.F. officer, said “I am acutely aware of the benefits of having a defibrillator readily available when needed to help save a life. This is the sort of project that the Community Chest is in place to support, and I am delighted to have been asked to declare this unit available for the benefit of people in the local area”.

Rotary Northeast member Phillip Hopps said “We set up the defibrillator project a few years ago to help get more units in place and available for use. They are registered on “The Circuit” so that in an emergency the Ambulance Service Call Handler will give the location of the nearest unit, along with the code to open the cabinet. When a unit is used it is removed from availability until it has been checked and serviced to ensure it is 100% operational, before being recorded as available”.

Sandra Shepherd from Alnwick Lions said, “We try to support projects like this that will bring a benefit to local communities. We have also brought along a cake for the residents that was made and presented to us by Edlingham Village Hall, and we feel that this is a suitable organisation to enjoy it”.

Learn more about Abbeyfield House in Alnwick

Abbeyfield House, Alnwick Image

Abbeyfield House, Alnwick

Originally opened in 1985 by Princess Anne, Abbeyfield House Alnwick is a purpose built residential care home designed to create a comfortable atmosphere for older people, with 25 recently refurbished rooms with bath and shower facilities, 14 of which are ensuite.

North Northumberland Extra Care Society Image

North Northumberland Extra Care Society

The North Northumberland Society is a charity that provides home from home accommodation for older people on a not-for-profit basis. Our home, Abbeyfield House in Northumberland, was purpose built and offers easy access to all facilities.

 Inspirational Abbeyfield volunteer recognised in Queens Birthday Honours Image

Inspirational Abbeyfield volunteer recognised in Queens Birthday Honours

Jim Thompson, who donates up to 16 hours a week of his own time to helping out at Abbeyfield House in Alnwick, Northumberland, has been rewarded with a British Empire Medal (BEM).