Community Awareness Sessions – July 2016

The latest dates for Community Awareness Sessions in July 2016 are as follows:

  • Corbridge Parish Hall – Tuesday 26th July, 7:00pm – 9:00pm (TSCF)

Attendance is open to everyone and the only limit is the capacity of the respective venues. All sessions take approximately 1.5 to 2 hours to complete.

(Local CFR) = Local Community First Responder
(TSCF) = The Stephen Carey Fund

Defibrillator Unveiled In Ashington Health Club

Defibrillator unveiled Oasis Health Club, AshingtonThe Stephen Carey Fund have unveiled a Public Access Defibrillator outside the Oasis Health Club in Ashington this week with staff receiving a free British Heart Foundation Heart Start Course from the charity.

Funds for the device were raised from staff at the health club with the help of visitors to the facility and friends and family of Darin Ferguson who you will recall was saved with the help of Andy Tomlin in 2015 after suffering a cardiac arrest whilst out cycling.

Pictured is Fund Treasurer Bryan Shendon handing over the defibrillator to Kevin Crick (owner of the club) along with two members of staff.


Defibrillator for Alnwick Town Centre

This evening sees the end of a busy day for the charity as the initial story detailing our unsuccessful approach to Iceland Foods Ltd to install a Public Access Defibrillator broke in the Northumberland Gazette both in print and online this morning.

This afternoon we are delighted to confirm that we have spoken to a representative from Iceland Foods Ltd and have accepted their offer to place the cabinet and defibrillator at the Alnwick store.

Continue reading Defibrillator for Alnwick Town Centre

First Life Saved By The Stephen Carey Fund

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A man who suffered a cardiac arrest has finally met the stranger who helped save his life, using vital first-aid skills he had learnt just 24 hours earlier from a training session provided by The Stephen Carey Fund.

Darin Ferguson and Andy Tomlin came face to face for the first time last night at The Farriers Arms, in Shilbottle, following the incident earlier this year.

Northumbrian Water employee Andy, based in Alnwick, rushed to Darin’s aid after he had collapsed near Morpeth and was able to put into practice life-saving techniques that he had been taught by The Stephen Carey Fund the day before.

Both Darin, 44, and Andy, 53, admit that the incident in May would likely have had a catastrophic outcome if it was not for the crucial training offered by the Fund.

After meeting his rescuer for the first time, father-of-one Darin, from Ashington, said: “I am so grateful to Andy because I was dead when he stopped to help me.

“Without Andy and the training he received from The Stephen Carey Fund, I would not be sitting here today. His actions saved my life, 100 per cent. I rang him up after I got out of hospital to thank him, but meeting him for the first time is incredibly emotional and I am actually a bit choked up.”

Andy, also from Ashington, was one of a number of Northumbrian Water employees to receive the training from the Fund on Friday, May 15. The charity’s chairman Scott McEwan led the session, which included emergency life support.

Little did he realise he would be putting these skills into practice much sooner than he could have imagined – the very next day. And the father-of-four admits that if it wasn’t for the training, he wouldn’t have had the confidence to become a life-saver. Recalling the incident, he said: “I was on my way home when I saw a couple of cars parked up and this lad lying by the roadside so I went over to assist.

“The people that were there didn’t really have a clue what they were doing. I checked Darin over and he didn’t have a pulse. I asked if anybody had called for an ambulance – which was one of the things I had learnt at the training – and nobody had!”. Andy added: “I started CPR and a few other people helped me. I was also looking for vital signs.”

He assisted paramedics when they arrived and a defibrillator was used on Darin. Thankfully, tragedy was averted and Andy admits that the training proved crucial.

He said: “If I hadn’t had the training the day before, I wouldn’t have been confident enough to do what I did. The training I received was vital because my first-aid skills were not up to date and I couldn’t have done it without the training I had from Scott.”

Car designer Darin was out cycling with his friend when the incident happened at Whorral Bank. The pair had been pedalling around Rothbury and Elsdon and had done about 55 miles. He said: “I have no recollection of what happened. I have been trying to piece it back together.”

Darin was in a coma for two-and-a-half days and had to have three stents fitted. He is due to have two more shortly. He returned to work eight weeks after the incident and says he is feeling ‘pretty good’ and is cycling once again. But he admits that the dramatic day in May proves that cardiac arrest can happen to anyone at any time.

“I didn’t think it would happen to me. I was the fittest I had been and was cycling about 120 miles a week,” he told reporters from the Northumberland Gazette who will feature the story in tomorrows edition.

On Tuesday, Darin and his family visited The Farriers Arms for first-aid training, including CPR, by Stephen Carey Fund representatives. It was here that he met Andy for the first time. Darin said he was delighted to not only see Andy, but to receive the training. Following the session, he said: “I wanted to have the training after what happened to me. It was good to see how the whole procedure works. Hopefully my family and I will never need to use it, but it is important that we know how to use it.”

Scott, 24, said the incident proves the value of The Stephen Carey Fund and thanked everybody who has supported it. In July, the charity installed its 50th defibrillator, just days before the third anniversary of Stephen’s death. The Fund has installed further defibrillators and has, since its formation, given the important first-aid training to thousands of people.