A LIFE saving community defibrillator has been installed at the new Inverkip Community Hub.

The emergency device — used to give a high energy electric shock to the heart to someone in cardiac arrest — is accessible to the public 24/7 outside the main entrance at the community centre.

Kevin Rodgers, the centre manager, said the whole community pulled together to help raise the funds required to buy and install the device.

He said the Tele’s story last year about Port Glasgow mum Susan Connell — who suffered a cardiac arrest during an exercise class and was saved by two hero nurses — really hit home.

Kevin said: “We have got lots of physical activity groups using the hub and we also have the playpark too so it’s important to have this community defibrillator which is accessible 24/7.

“I remember reading about the woman who collapsed with a cardiac arrest at an exercise class in Greenock last year.

“Things like that really highlight what can happen.

“It shows that it’s better to have a defibrillator.”

Tots at Inverkip Nursery, which is based within the village’s primary school, helped to raise money for the defibrillator by organising a sponsored pyjama day.

Leanne Wilson, who is an early years education and childcare officer at the nursery, said: “It was really nice for the nursery to help with the fundraising as it’s going to save lives.

“It’s such a wonderful thing for the children to be part of.”

Older men who attend  Greenock Morton Community Trust’s walking football initiative at the hub also helped with the fundraising.

Paddy McAlees, who runs the sessions, said: “I have about 15 to 20 guys training every week who are predominately aged between 60 and 65.

“They were keen to help to raise money for the defibrillator.
“It’s so important to have one.”

Free training sessions on how to use the defibrillator are being offered at the hub by the British Heart Foundation’s Heartstart Inverclyde initiative which is run by Glen Miller.

The team at Inverkip Community Hub are keen to thank everyone who helped raise funds for the defib, including Inverkip Community Initiative, Inverkip and Wemyss Bay Scouts, Inverkip and Wemyss Bay Community Council, the walking football group, the kids’ football pitch Wednesday football team, Bill Stewart, who completed a 40 mile sponsor cycle, and Inverkip Nursery.