11:08AM, Thursday 11 November 2021
L-R CEO Amanda Foster OBE, Annie Roy-Barker(Marlow Bridge Rotary), Charlotte Jones, Steve Berry (Marlow Thames Rotary, Club President)
A Marlow rotary club has stepped in to fully fund a replacement defibrillator at Longridge Activity Centre after thieves stole the vital piece of medical equipment.
Staff at the venue said they were stunned after discovering that the defibrillator was missing on November 2, and put out a plea for help on social media.
Longridge, in Quarry Wood Road, said that it had to use all of its reserves to survive through COVID, and was unable to afford the capital to fund a new one.
The Rotary Club of Marlow Thames spotted the appeal and decided to take action, with president Steve Berry and his members agreeing to fully fund a replacement defibrillator.
The new defibrillator has now been delivered and installed at Longridge, which is also acting as a COVID-19 vaccination clinic, with hundreds of vulnerable people visiting each day to receive their jabs.
Steve said: “I put it to the club and they all unanimously agreed that we should fund it, as we look to fund community projects where possible.
“The community supports us with things like the Santa’s Fun Run, and we support the community in turn. It is a win-win.”
Longridge chief executive Amanda Foister said she felt ‘disbelief’ when she and her team found the defibrillator stolen, but was happy that some good has emerged from this.
She added that the replacement defibrillator is also better equipped compared to the stolen one, as it contains an attachment for use on young people in case of an emergency.
“We were all a bit stunned and at first did not believe it could have been stolen, it is the ridiculousness of someone taking something that is of value to the whole community, but no value to them as an individual,” Amanda said.
“But out of that came a really good news story as Rotary stepped in so quickly to allow us to replace it.
“We’re really relieved as Longridge is hosting a vaccination centre at the moment so we have hundreds of people every day coming in to be jabbed.
“Rotary has always been a good friend of Longridge’s over the years and they have stepped in when we have needed them.”
There will be displays at Windsor Racecourse and Legoland, local fireworks in Burnham and Twyford and smaller displays at schools in the Royal Borough.