‘Community Defibrillators for Rossendale’ was set up after founder Dawn Taylor won the Rossendale Hospice-organised ‘Rossendale Woman of the Year’ title in 2009. She said: “I decided I wanted to do something as a result of winning and spoke to fellow community first responders Brian Pickup and Andrew Walmsley and we set up the community group.”
The first CPAD was installed outside Mulderriggs in Bank Street, Rawtenstall, in March 2011, the first in the North West Ambulance Service area.
In 2019, the volunteer team was awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest honour a community group can achieve, and at that time there were 28 CPADs in the valley. As well as raising money to fund defibrillators, the group also run training sessions for the public called ‘no fear sessions’.
Brian Pickup said, “No fear sessions have been held in schools, scouting organisations, for community groups and businesses and more than 3,000 people have been trained. The youngest person in Rossendale to be resuscitated is a 15-year-old student; it is not always an elderly person who can have a cardiac arrest and that is why the no fear sessions are so important.”
Photo caption: (L-R) CFRs Brian Pickup, Andrew Walmsley and Dawn Taylor.