Lowick Community Turnout For Defibrillator Awareness Session

The Stephen Carey Fund hand over defibrillator to Lowick community

Driving up the A1 on a dark winters night probably isn’t everyones first choice for a midweek adventure but that is what three members of The Stephen Carey Fund did this week.  Arriving at Lowick Village Hall at 7:00pm that very trio were greated by a car park full of vehicles and and a hall nearly as full.

No sooner had they walked through the door were they hands on helping the locals put out more seating as a steady flow of the Lowick faithful made their way into the hall.  Over 45 had turned out for the defibrillator induction session, once again kindly run by Alex Wheeler of the North East Ambulance Service, and this was a crowd eager to listen and learn.

Alex kindly introduced Scott and Dougie McEwan to the audience and without futher ado took everyone through the DRs ABC routine and onto how to use a defibrillator.

Approximately two hours later the session was concluded with a round of applause from the grateful people of Lowick who themselves should be once again commended for the turnout and enthusiasm for the evening.

The public access defibrillator which was installed over Christmas at the village shop is now combined with a sizeable portion of the community who have now seen how easy these devices are to use whether you are young or old.

If any other communities would like to join Lowick and have their own public access defibrillator please contact David Wilson on 07855 833730 or complete the contact form below:

£20,000 Anonymous Donation Received

It is the news we have been waiting just over a week to have confirmed and be able to announce to you all. The Stephen Carey Fund has scored a £20,000 donation from an anonymous benefactor, who also gave the same amount to North Tyneside-based charity North East Heart and Goals.

Both ourselves and North East Hearts and Goals, backed by former pro-footballer Fabrice Muamba will be able to utilise these donations to improve the lifesaving equipment and skills in their respective areas.

Scott McEwan, chairman of The Stephen Carey Fund, said: “We are absolutely ecstatic. The money will allow us to get more defibrillators for different areas, which is absolutely fantastic.”

The campaign has exceeded its first-year fund-raising target, collecting nearly £20,000 – before the recent five-figure donation – and has secured defibrillators for Alnwick, Shilbottle, Hipsburn First School, Lowick and Glendale Middle School, the latter two to be installed in the coming weeks. The fund is also working with other organisations, such as East Chevington Parish Council and Alnwick Amateur Boxing Club recently to help provide further equipment and training.

Scott added: “In the last year, we have worked closely with the football clubs within the North Northumberland League, providing members of each team with an FA-recognised first-aid qualification and first-aid kits, but felt we could do more. We hadn’t realised how important defibrillators are or how easy they are to use until we met Paul and Alex from North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) NHS Foundation Trust”.

“We have already helped five areas get defibrillators, but we have so many inquiries coming in all the time, and as the awareness is raised, we expect more.”

The NEAS NHS Foundation Trust is backing both funds, providing advice and guidance as well as training to those receiving defibrillators.

If you would like to contact us regarding a defibrillator for your area or to receive a free first aid kit and Heartstart training session please complete the form below:

A Big Thank You To Our Partners

The committee of The Stephen Carey Fund at a recent meeting agreed that whilst we had all privately thanked those who have helped us achieve the things we have to date that we needed to give those individuals and organisations a shout out so that they gain the public recognition they deserve.

So here goes for starters:

Rapid Reaction

Without Rapid Reaction we probably would be as far ahead as we are with our plans.  This company within minutes gave us details of the people we needed to be connecting with, who to talk to about what and how they could help – from the very early days this gave us an immense springboard to reach out to so many of those who have since gone on to help us make the fund what it is today.

North East Ambulance Service

The team from NEAS have supported our early efforts, helping educate us with the rudiments of first aid and life saving skills.  They have been a key part of our role outs of the defibrillators into the various communities with several awareness courses over the past months.  They have assisted us in becoming qualified to deliver Heartstart Training, a key goal of the fund.  They have put us in touch with similar minded organisations so that we may form working partnerships which will in time strengthen us as individual groups and also as a collective making our efforts even more wide reaching and effective.

Pickard Electricals Ltd

Firstly a huge thank you to James and Ryan, employees of Pickard Electricals Ltd, who volunteered their own time with the offer to help fit all the defibrillators for the fund.  Secondly to Neil Pickard who stepped in to provide assistance to the fund and to support his employees in their efforts.

Davidson & Son

This Alnwick based electrical wholesaler has kindly offered to provide all the wiring required for the installation of our defibrillators completely free of charge.

The Farriers Arms, Shilbottle

A mention for Liz Wallace who permits us to frequently ramble on for hours in her pub whilst we create, discuss and review the strategies of the fund.

There are many other individuals and organisations who have helped us to date and will do so into the future and we will be giving them a shout out in due course.  It goes without saying that all involved with The Stephen Carey Fund thank each and every one of you greatly for the support that you have provided.

Fund Set To Receive 8 Defibrillators


The Stephen Carey Fund met with fellow fundraisers North East Heart & Goals at the end of last week to discuss a number of ways in which the two organisations may be able to join forces to seek their mutual goal of improving life saving equipment and training across the region.

One matter for discussion was the rather “left of field” offer of some defibrillators that had originally intended for use in the Middle East.  In short these defibrillators were no longer needed for their original destination and now were posing something of a problem to the organisation in possession.  Via our mutual contact in the North East Ambulance Service the three organisations have held discussions and with some very generous assistance from a number of other organisations we have a workable solution.

The devices, which are currently programmed for Arabic users, are to be shipped to the USA where over the next few months they will be reprogrammed and serviced before being shipped back to the UK and given a new warranty before being distributed to the appropriate causes.

There are many cogs to the mechanism of this deal so whilst we are cautious we are also taking confidence in that the wheels are turning.  Should everything fall into place then The Stephen Carey Fund would have eight fully working defibrillators available for distribution into communities across North Northumberland, all we would need to raise the appropriate funds for are the public access units (green wall mounted boxes) to store the devices at their chosen sites.

This is could represent a huge leap well beyond our first year targets and we will definitely keep you updated with any developments.  A huge thank you to everyone involved at NE Hearts & Goals and North East Ambulance Service, if this one comes off it will make a huge difference to the North East of England.

Alnmouth Family Fun Day 2013

Members of The Stephen Carey Fund were delighted to play their small part in helping make this first fun day in Alnmouth a success.

The weather was kind with the sun shining and only a stiff breeze to contend with which soon faded.  It wasn’t long before the car park began to fill and the public meandered their way around the various stalls and activities, the kids loved the tea cups whilst the adults found comfort in the ‘beer cups’.

Pleasing was how busy the emergency services displays were with the North East Ambulance Service team rarely having a few minutes to themselves and both kids and adults interested to look around the fire engines that took turns on the show field.

The Tug Of War proved to be the crowd puller to mark the end of the organised events in the early evening and the with the hog roast firing up the beer tent became the social gathering point as everyone basked in the fantastic weather.

Everyone left with smiles and stories to tell, a great first year for the Alnmouth community.

Details of the monies raised for all organisations will be revealed later this week.

Fund’s First Defibrillator Unveiled

The Stephen Carey Fund
Members of Stephen Carey’s family, representatives from Shilbottle Parish Council and North East Ambulance Service unveil the first defibrillator for the fund.

The Stephen Carey Fund are delighted to announce that their first public access defibrillator is now live.  The unit which has been installed on the exterior of the K-Chem Pharmacy on Grange Road in Shilbottle is a top of the range Heartsine 500P and was unveiled at 2:00pm this afternoon in front a group of gathered locals from the village.

To present the unit to Shilbottle Parish Council were committee members of The Stephen Carey Fund and also members of Stephen’s family.  Representatives from the North East Ambulance Service who brought along one of their fast reponse vehicles and allowed locals to try their hand at CPR on a ‘Little Anne’ as well as get hands on with a training version of a defibrillator.  Parish Council Chairman Tom Scott said “This defibrillator is truly a great asset for the village but one I hope that we will never have to use”.

Dougie McEwan, of The Stephen Carey Fund, reiterated that “this is a community project and we are delighted with the response we have seen from local people and organisations, the parish council and schools as well as local businesses have all been extremely receptive to our approaches and we truly feel that this achievement is not down to just the fund but to the collective community”.  Dougie later went on to explain that the fund were in the process of putting the final arrangements in place for the second defibrillator which is to be sited at Alnwick Cricket Club and is likely to be unveiled towards the end of July.

The North East Ambulance Service will be running awareness/training courses within the village in the coming weeks and months details of which will published on The Stephen Carey Fund website as well as local parish magazines and publications.