Lifesaving Equipment Installed at Ashford’s Dahlia Independent Living Schemes

Ashford Borough Council installs lifesaving equipment

Ashford Borough Council has bought and installed vital lifesaving equipment at all its Dahlia independent living schemes across the district.

Installation of defibrillators

The idea to install defibrillators at the ten schemes was suggested by residents, with Susanne Lynch and David Marsh, who live at Danemore in Tenterden and Askes Court in Singleton respectively, championing getting the lifesaving equipment installed. They raised the issue during one of the regular Dahlia Forums, held to give residents the opportunity to have their say on the running of the sites.

The lifesaving equipment has been installed by ABC Electrical Services, the direct labour arm of the authority, and training in how to use the kit has been offered to as many Dahlia residents who wish to get involved. The defibrillators have been fitted to an exterior wall close to the entrance of each scheme, to enable access by the local community.  

Instructions about accessing the equipment are printed on the unit, including a telephone number to call to obtain the access code for each defibrillator installed.

Responses of residents in Dahlia homes

“The training included a demonstration which gave me more confidence in using the equipment and I think it would be a good idea to have a refresher every year. If you have to use the defibrillator it comes with an audio guide on what to do and that’s also very useful,” said Susanne who has lived at Danemore for 22 years.

“There is a defibrillator at Singleton village hall but that’s a distance away. Having one available at Askes Court could make all the difference in a life or death situation,” said David, who has lived at Askes Court for nearly five years.

Tracey Kerly, Chief Executive of Ashford Borough Council said “This is a very important initiative which will save lives around the borough. I am delighted to see it being rolled out. In this case, our residents spoke, and we listened and acted.”

Defibrillator
Pictured at the unveiling of the defibrillator at Danemore is, from l-r, Ashford Borough Council Chief Executive Tracey Kerly, residents Susanne Lynch and David Marsh, and Mayor of Tenterden, Cllr John Crawford.

“Over the years, having a defibrillator in the community and work place has proved to be a life saver. It is said there is a 90% confidence of a successful recovery if a defibrillation is used within six minutes. The defibrillator at Danemore is a very welcome addition to the existing 10 defibrillator units located around the parish. These are managed by Tenterden Council and other local community organisations.”

Cllr John Crawford, Mayor of Tenterden

The move away from traditional housing

Ashford Borough Council is moving away from traditional sheltered housing provision, giving older residents more choice, flexibility and variety of independent living options. The Council is shaking up old-fashioned perceptions of sheltered housing and has adopted a new model of housing provision for older folk. As a result, a new brand has been created that sums up this fresh approach to independent living in the 21st century – Dahlia, which stands for Desirable Affordable Housing Linking Independence (and) Age.  

For more information about the Dahlia independent living schemes visit www.ashford.gov.uk

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