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Defibrillator on the wall
Defibrillator on the wall

Preserving the local heartbeat

South Loch Awe-side Community Company (SLACC) was set up in 2014 to enhance the local area by developing and delivering projects that will make it more sustainable. SLACC’s formation was also in response to the fact that the small and dispersed community of Eredine, within South Loch Aweside, had not until then accessed any substantial financial support through An Suidhe Wind Farm Community Fund. Once established, SLACC developed a community action plan through local consultations including several public meetings and opinions gathered through the community newsletter and the Eredine noticeboard, to identify the community’s priorities and target funding opportunities for Eredine.

In November 2015, SLACC received a grant of £2,900 from An Suidhe Wind Farm Community Fund to purchase and install a portable automatic external defibrillator (AED) in a redundant BT kiosk. The project had been identified via the community consultations, in response to the needs of an ageing population in this remote area where ambulances usually take more than 40 minutes to reach the site of an incident. The availability of the defibrillator benefits approximately 120 residents within the South Loch Awe-side area. It is centrally located and is within a few minutes walking or driving distance from all the inhabited houses in the Eredine/Durran area and is accessible from other houses and tourist accommodation along the lochside road.

The Community Heartbeat Trust (CHT) was contracted to install the defibrillator and provide training to the lochside community. Through the auspices of BT’s Kiosk Adoption Programme, paint manufacturers Craig & Rose Ltd donated specially prepared paint for the kiosk. CHT is contracted to maintain the equipment with the local community monitoring the status of the defibrillator via regular checks. The kiosk now is registered with the emergency services and people travelling on the B840 can be directed to it.

The community feels much better prepared and confident in the event of an emergency and the defibrillator is a permanent asset and tool of resilience in this isolated area. Community confidence has been boosted by the acquisition of the AED, to the extent that SLACC has been asked to look at options for further defibrillators to be commissioned along the lochside to increase emergency coverage 


Catherine Hill, volunteer director with SLACC

With the success of installing the defibrillators, SLACC are now exploring a community broadband service and enhancing local networking through a community newsletter and regular email alerts.