Call for MPs to help save lives

A national campaign to convert red phone boxes into defibrillator stations in villages around the country is calling on MPs to get involved to help complete a national network.

‘We already have 150 defibrillators in red phone boxes in villages across the country, but we need hundreds, maybe thousands more to create a true national network, where a defibrillator is available locally to help save lives.’ said Martin Fagan from the Community Heartbeat Trust (CHT).

The Trust has written to all 650 MPs in the UK, calling on them to encourage at least one village in their constituency to adopt their BT red phone box, and fundraise to install a defibrillator.  The Minutes Matter campaign, officially launched this month, is supported by the British Coatings Federation.  20 paint manufacturers have offered to donate free paint to every local community that installs a CHT defibrillator in their phone box, restoring the phone box to its former glory and reminding residents of the life-saving equipment held within.

Tom Bowtell, chief executive officer of the British Coatings Federation said: ‘We continue to promote this ground-breaking scheme and are now urging MPs to get involved through the Minutes Matter website. Together with the CHT and BT, we will continue to encourage local communities to make a difference to the emergency service response provided to rural parts of the country.’

The Hon Ed Vaizey, Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy and Conservative MP for Didcot and Wantage, said ‘this is a fantastic initiative, I am calling on MPs across the UK to take up this challenge and encourage their local parishes to install a defibrillator in their red phone box’. Long Wittenham in Oxfordshire, in Ed Vaizey’s constituency, is a local community that has recently installed a defibrillator and has been nominated by the Minister for the project.