Ballet school backs Big Shock campaign

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Cardiac charity SADS UK has helped Ballet West get a defibrillator at the school.

Staff at the Taynuilt institution received training on how to use it last week when Victoria Tongs, a community resilience facilitator for the Scottish Ambulance Service, led a hands-on session.

The SADS UK Big Shock campaign wants to see defibrillators available in all schools and communities. As well as the support of ambulance services, it has Good Morning Britain’s Dr Hilary Jones as its patron and the backing of  Dame Helen Mirren.

Ballet West administrator Mike Rowell said: ‘The defibrillator buys life-saving minutes and, because we are in a remote location, it’s particularly important for us to have one here because we have a lot of young students. It’s also for the use of the community, although there is already one at the sports pavilion down in the village.’

Defibrillators work to restore the heart rhythm if a person goes into cardiac arrest. The earlier it is used, the better the chance is of survival.

The machine at the school is easy to use, giving voice prompts.

Anne Jolly, Founder of SADS UK, said: ‘SADS UK is pleased that Ballet West will benefit from having a defibrillator to restart the heart if there
is a cardiac arrest on the premises. SADS UK works with schools and highlights the fact that, as schools are a major hub in the community, they should have defibrillators in place to save lives.’

Using CPR alone provides a five per cent chance of survival but early use of a defibrillator increases the chance of survival to more than 50 per cent.

‘This is why SADS UK and its members are so passionate about putting this
lifesaving equipment in schools,’ said Ms Jolly.

The Department for Education is now advising schools to consider the defibrillator as part of their first aid equipment.

To find out more about getting a defibrillator in your community, contact SADS UK on 01277 811215, email or visit