Gosport library’s defibrillator donation from ‘brilliant’ local charity could help to save lives

A LIFE-SAVING device has been installed in a Gosport library thanks to the fundraising efforts of a Bridgemary grandmother.

Elizabeth Humphries, who has donated more than 30 defibrillators to schools and clubs across the county, hand-delivered a defibrillator to Elson Community Library and Hub.

The devices are used to save people suffering from cardiac arrest, and cost around £700 each.

Funds for the defibrillators are raised through raffles, donations, and car boot sales via Elizabeth’s charity group The Big Match.

The Big Match charity have donated a defibrillator to Elson Community Library and Hub in Chantry Road, Gosport. Picture: Sarah Standing (190422-1596)

Elson Community Library’s defibrillator will be housed in a prominent position by the reception, underneath the television screen.

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Richard Phil Earle, one of the trustees of the Elson library, said defibrillator donation meant ‘a great deal’ to the community hub.

Elson is one of the library sites across Hampshire that was saved by locals after Hampshire County Council announced it was cutting them from its portfolio.

Pictured is: (middle) Elizabeth Humphries, The Big Match Gosport representative and head of fundraising with (l-r) Jan Almond, chair of trustees, Richard Phil Earle, one of the trustees, Jamie Hutchison, project manager and treasurer of the Elson Community Library and Hub and Jan Graham, one of the volunteers and runs many projects at the library. Picture: Sarah Standing (190422-1582)

Richard added: ‘When we saved the library from Hampshire County Council less than a year ago, we’ve turned the library into a real community hub and having a defibrillator is part of that.

‘Our head of trustees, Jan Almond, was really keen to have a defibrillator. She saw a guy die of a heart attack and if he’d had one then, he may have been saved.

‘So it’s been on the agenda, and we found The Big Match, a brilliant charity, and we approached them.

‘Although they normally only do schools, we managed to twist their arm with the promise that we will raise enough money for them to donate another to another community.’

Elizabeth has raised more than £50,000 in nine years for The Big Match, which also supports The Brain Tumour Charity and Action For Children.

She said: ‘As a family charity we had a friend whose little girl died of a heart attack in the playground, and we felt that we needed to put in defibrillators in places where they would be used.

‘The library contacted me and asked if they could have one, and I felt that it was a good place for one to be - it’s used by various age groups, always lots of things going on.

‘I felt with the shops and people living around here, it would be a good area.’