Spring 2012 Newsletter


Issue 1 – Spring 2012

Welcome to the first Newsletter of the Gwent Defibbers.

Gwent Defibbers are a cardiac support group who hold their meeting currently at Llanfoist Village Hall, Nr Abergavenny. The group is a Patient Led Group for members living within the South East area of Wales who have had an Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) a special pacemaker which monitors, detects and treats dangerous heart rhythms.

Gwent Defibbers Volunteer Committee is as follows:

Mike Morgan – Chairman

Sandra Davies- Secretary

Deb Cooper – Treasurer

Roger Cockbill – Speaker Co-ordinator

The group is affiliated to Arrhythmia Alliance and British Heart Foundation (BHF). We have secured funding from a Big Lottery Grant Scheme called Awards for All Wales. The grant is currently paying for Hire of Hall, Laptop, Volunteer Expenses and Coach Hire. The group has made links with a similar group which covers South West Wales called RESTART who are based at Morriston Hospital, Swansea. There is also a ‘sister’ group called PHOENIX ICD Support Group based at Withybush Hospital.

The purpose of the Gwent Defibbers is to give support to Patients and Carers to keep them fully informed after they have an ICD fitted. Members of the Committee are happy to chat to Patients and Carers about their experiences.

The meetings are held quarterly, where a Guest Speaker is invited to come along and talk about topics of interest to the members. There is time after the meeting to chat to other members.

At each of the meetings there will be an Arrhythmia Nurse present for you to ask medical questions too, and also information for individuals to take away e.g. a list of travel insurance companies that are worth contacting.

Please come along to the meetings, we ask that each individual gives £1 to help the group pay for venue hire etc. If you are unable to attend, please let us know, and we will continue to keep in touch via email, letter or these Newsletters.

Thank you



Gwent defibbers group.

There are many different people,

Who have joined our little club!

We carry a little metal box.

It sits close within our chest,

Always alert and ready, to do its level best!

It holds the key to a magic trick,

Which when needed may give a surprising kick!

With checks and worries along the way,

Where a phone call to a friend, will brighten your day!

So, come on – Join our little Club

Where friends are waiting to meet

Unique in its membership

And where you’ll always have a seat

Poem put together by our Treasurer Deb Cooper – Thank you

Gwent Defibbers have a fantastic CD that is available for members to lend called ‘The Beat Goes On’. It has been published by BHF, and it gives a good insight into life with an ICD. If your interested in seeing this CD, please contact the Secretary – Sandra Davies (02920 889423) who will be more than happy to send the CD to you. All we ask is that you return it to us once you have finished with it.



thank you to Deb Cooper our Treasurer who has found out that if you are a member of the AA, and have an experience of having a ‘shock’ and you are on your own, the AA will take you to the nearest Hospital, and drive your car back to your home or destination. Currently the committee are checking if this applies to other motoring organisations. A spokesman from the AA has agreed to come along to one of our meetings and discuss this further.

With summer fast approaching we are beginning to look for holidays in the Sun. Gwent Defibbers have a list of Insurance Companies who will insure individuals with ICD’s fitted. If you would like a copy of the list of recommended Insurance Companies, please contact the Secretary who will be more than happy to email or send one to you. Sandra’s email address is: davies.j20@sky.com

Fantastic News for Tredegar – Gwent Defibbers has secured funding for an AED. The grant is via the WCVA Communities First Trust Fund, and thanks to Mike Morgan for all his hard work in securing the grant. The AED will be placed within community venues in the town of Tredegar, staff will be trained to use the device by the Ambulance Service. At the time of going to print an AED will be placed at either end of the town – one in BETFRED and one in WEATHERSPOONS Pub.

STOP PRESS: training arranged for 25th April at 6.30 pm in Bedwellty House Tredegar

If any member of the Gwent Defibbers, is interested in going along to this free training to learn more about AED’s, please ensure you let Mike Morgan know as soon as possible. Thank you to the Ambulance Service for doing the training free. We are hoping to get the local newspaper and the Mayor of Tredegar involved.

Do you receive your free copy of Heart Matters. This magazine is published by British Heart Foundation and gives tips and advice on diet, health, exercise and Heart conditions. If you would like a free copy of Heart Matters magazine – please contact Heart Matters Helpline 0300 330 3300. Or there is also an online version at bhf.org.uk/heartmattersmag

As part of the Awards for All Wales Grant the Committee has secured funding to pay for transport to visit the RESTART Group in Swansea. We have been invited to attend their meeting on the 16th June 2012 at 1.30pm.

If you are interested please let us know, so that we can organise the transport. Please contact the Secretary on 02920 889423 or email: davies.j20@sky.com.

To promote and raise awareness of our Group it was decided by the Committee to purchase polo shirts. Mike has managed to get a sponsor – Gemstone Jewellery Tredegar to sponsor the committee’s polo shirts.

This will make recognising the committee easier for new members when they attend their first meeting. Also, they will help to promote the group when the committee attends external meetings.

If you would like to purchase a polo shirt please contact Mike Morgan – cost £10.50 each in sizes Small, Medium, Large and X-large.

If you hear of any schemes that can help Gwent Defibbers members please do not hesitate to contact us. Please email davies.j20@sky.com or write to 55 Heol Barri, Energlyn, Caerphilly CF83 2LX.


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