Newsletter issue 4 (Nov 2012)

The following information has been copied from the newsletter.

“I can’t believe that we are now only weeks away to the end of the year. Sitting in the AGM listening to how much the group has achieved during 2011 – 2012 is amazing.

Attached as an Appendice is the Annual Report of what the group had done up to the AGM. In September members of the group attended the Arrhythmia Alliance Heart Rhythm Congress. During the conference Gwent Defibbers had a mention. A seperate report has been prepared which is attached for information.

I would like to take this opportunity of wishing you a Happy Christmas and a Happy Healthy New Year and hope to see you at our future meetings.”

Sandra ( Secretary )


The annual report was read by the chair (Mike Morgan). Mike thanked our sponsors, funders, our guest speakers and committee of the OAP hall for their contribution since the start of the Gwentdefibbers group.

Mike gave an update on the number of people within Tredegar who are now trained on how to use an AED  and the figure is currently 50 individuals.

Annual Report

2011-2012 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, hire of venues, a visit to meet another ICD support group – Restart – in Swansea and also to pay for refreshments which have been provided by Lynne Morgan at each meeting.

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

The group was 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 who gave a donation of £10 and the group also received a grant of £100 from Caerphilly County Borough Council.

As chairman of the Gwentdefibbers 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 (Automatic external defibrillators) which are placed within Tredegar town. The Welsh Ambulance Trust trainer provided free training and as mentioned the event was sponsored by Communities First. A big thank you to Sarah James from the Communities First Team based in Tredegar for all her support and organising the training events. After the initial launch of the AED and the training sessions for the general public we now have 50 people trained to use an AED.

This came in handy a week after the initial training course as there was an incident in town and local people were able to respond to the emergency. The group are currently trying to raise awareness of having AED’s alongside First Aid Boxes and hopefully soon the first aiders will be able to use the AED’s with confidence.

As blog visitors will be aware Jeff Davies (Sandra’s husband) was interviewed by the South Wales Echo who wanted to do an article on ICD’s. Due to the increasing 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 write up can be found earlier in the blog)

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

Myself (Mike) and Sandra (secretary) spent the day at Blackwood Sainsbury store with a display and distributing leaflets to local residents about arrhythmias 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 support group which is based at Morriston Hospital, Swansea. Seven members of the group attended their meeting. The order of the meeting was similar to the Gwendefibbers meetings 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 had the Lama Rabsang to speak to us about relaxation techniques, Sue Arnold from Expert Patient Programme, Andy Penney from UHW who checks our ICD’s and Dawn Watkins , Arrhythmia Nurse, who has helped raise our awareness regarding our conditions.

We, as a committee are always looking for ideas for speakers and we are now considering a suggestion box for our members to tell us who they would like to see at the meetings and what topics they would like to discuss. To date it has been suggested to invite-

*ICD manufacture




*relaxation techniques.

Venue – The group have recently moved venue from Llanfoist village hall which was on the outskirts of Abergavenny to a more central area in Abergavenny itself. This was decided after discussion about cost, location and ease og getting to the venue. As chairman I would like to thank the committee of the OAP hall Abergavenny for their support.

At this point the current committee stood down and was duly re-elected as there were no nominations from the floor.

Therefore to clarify the committee will be until the next AGM meeting in 2013.

CHAIRMAN – Mike Morgan

SECRETARY – Sandra Davies

TREASURER – Deb Cooper.


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