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Leader/Times Column 9th December 2016

I was delighted to be in Blacko last Sunday to officially unveil Blacko’s second public access defibrillator on the side of Blacko Primary School.

When I visited Blacko some twelve months ago to declare their initial defibrillation equipment operational, I recommended that an application should be made to get funding for a second defibrillator and am delighted that this has now been secured.  This new defibrillator joins over seventy others across Pendle, in our leisure centres, schools, health centres, on the side of pubs and other locations, ensuring that wherever you are life saving equipment is closer than ever before.  However, we still need more and in the New Year I’ll be launching a campaign to increase the number of defibrillator across Pendle to over 100.

We all hope that we will never need a defibrillator, but it’s important that one if available should the need arise and I applaud all the Pendle community groups and organisations who have recently invested in this equipment.  Similarly, we all hope we will never need a blood transfusion, but it is crucial that the NHS has supplies ready for those who need it.

At this is the time of year most of us are busy shopping, attending parties and catching up with friends and family, but we should also all take a step back and consider how we can help those who are in need. One way you can help is by making an appointment to give blood.  Currently in Pendle there are only 1,021 blood donors. This means that only 1.1% of people living in Pendle are current donors. There are many excellent ways of giving back over the Christmas period, but every blood donation, which takes just an hour of your time, has the potential to save the lives of up to three people. It’s worth thinking about.

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