£150,000 raised for community defibrillators and emergency responder groups

The Lincolnshire Co-op’s Community Champions scheme saw members, colleagues, and shoppers come together to raise £93,076 for community defibrillators and £57,305 for local emergency responder groups.

Thanks to the generosity of local people, at least 20 new defibrillators are being installed in communities across the Society’s trading area.

As well as the new equipment, funds raised will also contribute to the ongoing maintenance of around 40 existing defibrillators.

Lincolnshire Co-op colleagues worked closely with local responder groups to identify towns and villages where these life-saving resources were needed most.

According to British Heart Foundation1, for every minute it takes for the defibrillator to reach someone and deliver a shock, their chances of survival reduce by up to 10%.

As emergency service response times in rural areas can be significantly longer, many of the defibrillators are being placed in more isolated towns and villages.

Lincolnshire Co-op’s Community Engagement Manager Sam Turner said: “We’re thrilled to have worked together with the public to raise such a tremendous amount for these worthy causes.

“The resources and groups we’ve supported could be needed by anyone at any time, so the money raised will really benefit the whole community – this donation will help save lives!”

Funds were also raised for six different local responder groups that provide various aspects of emergency care across the area, including emergency medical care, extreme weather rescue, and supporting vulnerable members of the community in their day-to-day lives.

One of the charities that benefited is LIVES, which was thrilled to receive £35,359 through the scheme.

Head of Fundraising & Communications at LIVES, Gemma Shaw said: “LIVES volunteers are there without hesitation, there in times of an emergency.

“When minutes feel like hours, and every second counts, they step in at the critical moment.

“There with life changing help, and there with the small acts of kindness too. They are only able to do this with donations like these.

“Our share of the Community Champions total means the world to our charity, and we are so very grateful for the support.”

Thanks to the donation, the charity will continue its own extensive defibrillator replacement programme, providing LIVES Responders with new, sector leading defibrillators which they carry with them to all the 999 emergencies they attend.

Despite lockdown restrictions limiting opportunities, fundraisers got creative with their efforts.

The Society’s own bakery, Gadsby’s, created heart-themed cupcakes and donated 10p of every box sold to the local Community Champion.

Shoppers bought a total of 2561 boxes of baked goods to support the cause.

A number of Lincolnshire Co-op colleagues also took on sponsored walking challenges including 10K steps a day throughout February.

From November to March every time a Lincolnshire Co-op member shopped with their dividend card, a contribution was made to the causes.

Proceeds from the carrier bag levy and money donated to in-branch collection tins also went towards the final total.