Sowood WI painted the town red with ribbons for new defibrillators

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THE RESIDENTS of Stainland and district woke up one morning to find the community covered in red ribbon.

The ladies of Sowood WI, known as The Babes in the Wood, tied huge bows around every lampost and railing between Holywell Green and Sowood to draw attention to their amazing achievement.

Having raised funds for over a year they have installed four Community Access Defibrillators in the area and wanted to let the community know that this life saving equipment was now in place.

Sowood WI’s President and former senior nurse, Jackie Swire, said: “Every year over 30,000 people have cardiac arrests outside hospital in the UK and we were determined to increase the odds of survival in our area.”

To add to the bows, the ladies tied luggage tags all over which gave the locations of the four defibrillators and invited the whole community to wear red and join them on a Heart March to officially open each machine.

Being the WI the celebrations involved singing Jerusalem as the ladies marched between each defibrillator and everyone was invited to eat cake at Sowood Community Centre where the Mayor of Calderdale performed the final opening ceremony.

Jackie said: “It was a wonderful community event; everyone was smiling at finding our villages covered in red bows.

“It really cheered people up and they certainly all know that the area is a safer place as a result of what our brilliant WI has achieved”.

Now that the defibrillators are open the group are planning to make sure that as many people as possible in the community know what to do in an emergency by offering community CPR training as they have received a grant of ten resuscitation dummies.

Jackie said: “Cardio pulmonary resuscitation is a bit of a mouthful but CPR can be performed easily by anyone if they know what to do and it could be the difference between life and death.”