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Visit Chislehurst and the Defibrillators
Life-saving devices that ANYONE can use!


Earlier in the summer, the team at Visit Chislehurst organised a town-wide fundraiser, raising money for a brilliant cause: new defibrillators for Chislehurst. We caught up with Matt who headed the campaign to find out more…

So, Matt, what is a defibrillator?

A defibrillator, or AED as they are sometimes known, is a device that gives a high energy electric shock to the heart of someone who is in cardiac arrest. It is a small unit, about the size of laptop, often housed in a special cupboard or wall-shelf. And they’re usually bright yellow or orange!

And when would you use one?

Defibrillation is used to treat someone in cardiac arrest. Every minute that a person is in Sudden Cardiac Arrest, their chances of survival drop by 7-10%, making rapid defibrillation vital for survival. The electric shock restarts or resets their heart back to its normal rhythm.

If you come across someone who is unresponsive and has stopped breathing, call for help, start CPR immediately, and try and get someone to run and bring you the nearest defibrillator. Don’t stop CPR to find a defibrillator yourself.

Can anyone use them? Or do you need any special training?

This is the most important piece of information: ANYONE can use a defibrillator. You don’t need any specific training and it’s impossible to get it wrong. You simply open the box and follow the instructions which are automatically spoken to  you. If the patient doesn’t need shocking, the machine won’t fire.  Therefore, you CANNOT use on a person who doesn’t need it.

And can you use them on children?

Yes, absolutely. You just need to flick the switch by the ‘shock button’ that says adult/child.

Where are the nearest defibrillators in Chislehurst?

The most important sites for us all to remember are:

  • Sainsburys on the High Street
  • Elmstead Woods Train Station
  • The Bickley Arms (by Chislehurst Station)
  • Deva Yoga (Belmont Parade)
  • The Roost Cafe (Chislehurst Recreation Ground)

We will be providing a map shortly that will go on display around Chislehurst to show these locations.

Also, most schools have a defibrillator, as well as churches, doctor’s surgeries, and some chemists.

If you’re not sure, phone 999 and they’ll be able to direct to you any units that are registered.

Where did defibrillator fund raising idea come from?

It was at the Big Picnic 2021 when the Visit Chislehurst team realised there wasn’t a defibrillator near the Cockpit on the Commons. St Nicholas Primary School had one but that wasn’t available over the weekend so the nearest one was at the Methodist Church (a 15 minute round trip away).

So we decided to start a local fundraising campaign, using the wonderful Chislehurst Society Bears as marker points for a sponsored bear hunt! This took place over the Easter weekend and was a great success.

How much did we raise and how?

Thanks to incredibly generous match-funding from two wonderful Chislehurst businesses – JDM Estate Agents and New Mortgage Solutions – we raised a fabulous £3,435!

This far exceeded all our expectations. We had planned to buy just two defibrillators but ended up having enough money to buy three units AND have funds left over to keep the units running for the next 10 years (the batteries and pads need replacing at regular intervals).

Why did you choose Elmstead Woods Station, Deva Yoga and The Bickley Arms?

We thought long and hard about the sites. Sadly, due to theft and vandalism, outdoor defibrillators that are accessible 24/7 often don’t last. So we wanted to place them in secure environments, in busy areas, where opening hours are long.

Elmstead Woods has a huge footfall and the station opening hours are good. Plus there isn’t another unit in that area of town.

We thought Belmont Parade should have unit, to match the device in Sainsburys on the High Street. Deva Yoga is a perfect spot.

And, The Bickley is a popular spot in a busy area of town, just a few minutes’ walk from Chislehurst Train Station. There is a defibrillator in the chemist opposite which services the area in the morning and now the pub can make a unit available till late at night.


What’s next for the campaign?

Defibrillators and brilliant, life-saving pieces of kit…but only if people know where to find them. Our new units have been registered with the emergency services (if you call 999, the operator should be able to tell you where your nearest one is). And we are also planning on drawing up a map with ALL the units in Chislehurst marked on. This will be available on our website and will be printed out and posted on the notice boards in town.

If you know of a unit that you think we might not have heard about, please do get in touch…

Thanks, Matt. Spread the word everyone: defibrillators save lives and anyone can use them!