Defibrillator Installed at Abbotsford after Friends' Campaign

30th September 2021

A defibrillator has been installed at Abbotsford, the home of Sir Walter Scott near Melrose, after a successful fundraising campaign led by the Friends of Abbotsford. 

Last year, Abbotsford was awarded the British Heart Foundation’s Nation of Lifesavers Community Package, which included a defibrillator and training kit. The organisation then needed to raise £1,000 to access this package, as well as to buy and install a suitable cabinet to keep the defibrillator ready and accessible in a public place. The defibrillator is available 24 hours a day and is located near the Visitor Centre at Abbotsford. 

The fundraising effort was spearheaded by the Friends of Abbotsford Committee, who called for donations from the local community as well as organising small events and several online quizzes. 

Friends of Abbotsford Committee members with defibrillator, left to right: John Marshall, Nancy Marshall, Rachel Smuts-Muller, Abbotsford Trust CEO Giles Ingram, Gavin Hewitt 

Gavin Hewitt, chair of the Friends of Abbotsford Committee said, 'As Friends of Abbotsford, we were delighted to help raise funds to install a defibrillator at Abbotsford, some of the money coming from events such as afternoon teas and other activities and some from individual donations. We are grateful to everyone who contributed to our project. Over 200,000 people have visited the Abbotsford grounds this year. To know that a defibrillator is on hand, if it is ever needed, is a reassurance for all our visitors.'

For every minute someone is in cardiac arrest without CPR and access to a defibrillator, their chance of survival drops by up to 10%. Having a public access defibrillator available in an emergency can be life-saving.