Annual Report 2011 – 12

2011-12 has been a really busy year for the Gwent Defibbers.

In July 2011 the group had received a grant from Big Lottery Awards for All Wales of £1,727.00.  This was to help towards set up costs.

The grant paid for a Laptop, publication of contact cards for patients to become members of the group, transport costs, administration costs, hire of venues, a visit to meet another ICD group Restart in Swansea and to pay towards refreshments which have been provided by Lynne Morgan at each meeting.

I would like to take this opportunity of thanking Lynne on behalf of the Committee and members for her continued support, and beautiful cakes.

The group were very fortunate in securing donations from the following:

Gemtime Jewellers who sponsored the Committee polo shirts.

Tucan who gave a donation of £100.

Miss Harries gave a donation of £10.

The group received a grant of £100 from Caerphilly county borough council.

As Chairman of the Gwent Defibbers I would like to take this opportunity of thanking everyone for their kind donations over the last year.

It is very much appreciated.

The group were also successful in securing a Communities First Grant to purchase 2 AED’s to be placed within the Town of Tredegar.

The grant of £2,000 was towards AED’s and training.  The Ambulance Service trainer provided the free training and the event was supported by Communities First and a big thank you goes to Sarah James from the Communities First team based at Tredegar for her support organising the training events.

After the initial launch of the AED and the training there has been another two training sessions for the general public where over 50 people have now been trained to use an AED.

This came in handy a week after the initial training course as there as an incident in Tredegar, one of the people had been trained was able to respond.  The group are currently trying to raise the awareness of having AED’s alongside First Aid Boxes, and First Aiders trained to use the AED’s with confidence.

Our website is kept updated by one of our members Liz so any additional information you would like to find out, please log onto https://gwentdefibbers.wordpress.com .  I would like to thank Liz for her input over the past year and hopefully in the future for the Gwent Defibbers.  Liz also informed us that there had been an increase on the number of ‘hits’ onto our website after Fabrice Mumba had his incident with Bolton FC.

This incident has raised the importance of raising the profile of ICD’s.

Also recently Jeff Davies (Sandra’s husband) was interviewed by the South Wales Echo who wanted to do an article on ICD’s. Due to the number of ICD’s being fitted it felt appropriate to raise the profile of the device as well as promoting the support the group can give.  The article has yet to be published, but the group feels it would be helpful for hospitals fitting ICD’s to show new patients how the device can help.

During the year the Committee members have been invited to attend a number of event to inform the general public about the group and arrhythmia.

Myself and Sandra (Secretary) spent the day at Blackwood Sainsbury’s Store with a display and distributing leaflets to local residents about Arrhythmia during Arrhythmia Awareness Week.

The committee were invited to attend a South Wales Ambulance Awareness Raising Session in Pontypool.  It gave the committee an opportunity to ask questions about the medical service being provided to patients with ICD’s.  Our findings were reported back to members.

Restart Visit: Members were invited to join another ICD group based at Morriston Hospital in Swansea.  Seven members of the group attended the meeting, which was held at Morriston Hospital.  The order of the meeting was similar to Gwent Defibbers meeting, where a guest speaker gave a presentation – on this occasion it was a physiotherapist talking about exercise.  There was also a discussion about ID Tags.

The committee meet on a regular basis – and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Secretary Sandra Davies and our Treasurer Deb Cooper for all their hard work over the past year.

Our Guest Speakers have been varied – this year we have had the Lama Rabsan to speak to us about relaxation techniques, Sue Arnold from Expert Patients Programme, Andy Penney from UHW who checks ICD’s, Dawn Watkins, Arrhythmia Nurse to raise awareness of different areas of our condition.

We as a committee, are always looking for ideas for speakers, and are now looking at putting a suggestion box for members to tell us what topics they would like to discuss or know more about.  To date it has been suggested to invite:

–       ICD manufacturer

–       Pharmacist

–       Dietician

–       Physiotherapist

–       Relaxation Techniques

Venue:

The group have recently moved venue from Llanfoist Village Hall, which was on the outskirts of Abergavenny into a more central venue in Abergavenny town itself.  This was decided after discussions on cost and location and ease of getting to the venue for our meetings. As Chairman I would like to thank the Committee of the Abergavenny OAP for their help and support.

Future:

During the remainder of 2012 and into 2013, we hope that we can interest a few more members onto the Committee.  This would help to give ideas for the future of the group.

Mike Morgan

Chairman

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