The Whitley Community Development Association (WCDA) unveiled its new public access defibrillator on 28 July. The device was bought with funds donated by the friends of Matthew Farrall, who died in April 2018. The defibrillator is designed to help resuscitate people suffering a heart attack and is attached to the external wall of the South Reading Community Hub at 252 Northumberland Avenue, Reading RG2 7QA.
The defibrillator was unveiled by Steph Chard (Matthew’s partner), Trisha Bennett (WCDA community development co-ordinator), Bob Bennett and Steve Haines (Rumpo Kidz squeezebox player).
“Matthew touched our lives [at the WCDA] for a relatively short time,” said Trisha Bennett, “He started by helping me with the community museum, as local history was his passion, and became a WCDA trustee.”
“We decided we needed to do something after Matthew passed, and in true Whitley style we wanted Whitley people to do something for one of their own. ”
We needed something for the heart of Whitley in the heart of Whitley.
– Trisha Bennett
The WCDA started to fundraise for one defibrillator shortly after Matthew died, and they have now raised enough for two devices. A memorial gig in September is expected to raise money to buy a third device; one device will go at the top of Northumberland Avenue and one at the bottom; these will complement the newly unveiled one at the South Reading Community Hub.
The defibrillators are available for public use 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can access the device by calling 999 and giving your location.
The WCDA have teamed up with Heartstart Swallowfield to offer free training sessions to anybody in Whitley who wants to learn CPR and how to use the defibrillator. You can sign up for this course on the WCDA website.
Club Velocity will present a charity gig in memory of Matthew Farrall on Saturday 22 September at the Readipop Studios on Milford Road. Funds raised will go towards the Matthew Farrall defibrillator fund and the concert will include performances from some of Matthew’s favourite local bands, including the Rumpo Kidz, Harroland, Kill Committee and Dino’s.