Monica Champions ‘Restart A Heart’ Campaign With West Craigs Residents

Monica has praised Blantyre residents for their ‘heroic’ mission to install lifesaving defibrillators in a housing estate.

The West Craigs at Heart group raised £14,000 to buy, install and maintain six defibrillators within the residential estate. Most households in the popular family estate now live within a few minutes of the vital equipment.

The defibrillators have already been used on three occasions.

Monica, who is also a West Craigs resident said:

“With fewer than one on ten people in Lanarkshire surviving an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest last year, we urgently need more people in our communities to have quick and easy access to lifesaving defibrillators.

“That’s why the heroic and generous efforts of the West Craigs at Heart group should be commended and celebrated.

“I fully support the Restart a Heart campaign and this is an issue that’s deeply personal to so many of us.

“Defibrillators are often more available in better-off areas; we need to change this so that everyone in our community has equal access to this vital equipment.

“Anyone looking after a defib – including people in charge of pubs, sports clubs, community centres, churches, village halls – should make it accessible to the public 24/7. 

“Public access defibrillators (PADS) are designed to be used by the public. When you switch on the defibrillator it will provide clear instructions and talk you through what you need to do. 

“I commend the work of the West Craigs at Heart group who have shown great community spirit and worked tirelessly to buy, install and maintain life-saving defibrillators”  

A spokesperson for the West Craigs at Heart group said:

“The defibrillators were installed in memory of Robert Sullivan and Sheila Semple who were residents of the estate. 

“If this even helps one person then our job is done.”

A cardiac arrest is the ultimate medical emergency – where the heart suddenly stops beating. Early defibrillation within 3–5 min of collapse can increase survival rates by up to 50-70%.  

Restart A Heart (RSAH), a Resuscitation Council UK initiative ran throughout October last year, with the campaign focussing on defibrillation awareness and access to the lifesaving devices.  

[Image of Monica Lennon MSP with Ann-Marie from Westcraigs at Heart standing outdoors beside a defibrillator mounted on a lampost]