Montrose heart-start campaign to expand after it smashes fundraising target

From left, Anne Gaunt, Muriel Hardy, Mary Faulkner and Hazel Shepherd at the launch.

A campaign to provide an Angus town with heart-start machines is expanding its reach after smashing its initial fundraising target.

A drive was launched to fund the equipment amid fears Montrose was lagging behind other Angus burghs in terms of 24-hour automated external defibrillator (AED) access.

The initiative is being led by a small team working on behalf of the town’s Inner Wheel and Rotary clubs, which has reached its initial £3,000 goal and is now setting its sights on additional locations for the devices.

Susan Coull of Montrose Inner Wheel said: “We started our campaign with Crowdfunder Angus in the hope that in reaching our target of £3,000 within 35 days we would raise sufficient funds to purchase one or two AEDs to be sited centrally in Montrose.

“These will provide 24-hour public access should someone suffer a cardiac arrest.

“However, as we have raised our target with Crowdfunder Angus in less than half that time, we have extended our total target amount so we can hopefully not only acquire more AEDs for other selected sites in Montrose, but also for Ferryden, Hillside and Craigo.

“This would give our whole community much faster access to potentially life-saving equipment.”

In addition to online funds, the clubs raised money at a launch event at Taylor’s Auctions and received donations made directly to Montrose Rotary Club including from the Over 60s exercise class.

AEDs give clear spoken instructions to the user and deliver a high energy electric shock to restart the heart and restore the normal rhythm.

Although the equipment recognises if a patient requires a shock and can be used without experience, project leaders also hope to provide training for locals.

Each defibrillator, including its special casing designed for outdoor siting, costs around £1,500.

Including donations promised, the Montrose total stands at around £5,500 and the team has passed on its heartfelt thanks to everyone who has given so far.

The website can be found by searching for Crowdfunder Angus Save a Life Montrose.

Donations can also be made directly to Montrose Rotary Club at the George Hotel.

Susan said it was a project to benefit the whole community, adding: “Remember, a cardiac arrest can occur anywhere, anytime and at any age.”