Iconic BT kiosk in Sherborne becomes life-saving community defibrillator

A new community public access defibrillator (cPAD) has been officially launched by local businesses and organisations who have supported the £3k project. The defibrillator, available 24/7, is located in Cheap Street, outside Sherborne Post Office, in an iconic K6 telephone kiosk originally designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott in 1935. It features the latest Zoll AED 3 technology, for adult and paediatric rescue.

Designed to give confidence to those attending a casualty, the defibrillator provides real-time voice instruction, helping rescuers deliver high-quality CPR. Its innovative, intuitive design offers even inexperienced users the ability needed to treat sudden cardiac arrest.

Local business, Girlings Complete Hearing, kick-started the project in September 2021, following a Sherborne Chamber of Trade appeal, by making a £500 funding pledge and a commitment to manage the project. Midwest the Stationers raised a further £360 through its charity raffle.

Nicola Girling, said: “As hearing healthcare providers, we didn’t think twice about supporting this new health resource for the town. Naturally, we hope the defibrillator isn’t needed, but it’s reassuring to know it is available round the clock for anybody experiencing a cardiac emergency”.

Following months of negotiation with BT and Royal Mail, the kiosk was formally adopted by Sherborne Town Council through BT’s ‘Adopt a Kiosk’ scheme. Town Clerk, Steve Shield, said: “The Town Council is delighted to support this excellent initiative for the best interests of the local community.  The installation of more potentially life-saving equipment, in such a prominent location in the town, is invaluable for residents, local businesses and visitors alike”.

This new defibrillator, purchased and maintained through the Community Heartbeat Trust, would not have been possible without the generous support of The Friends of the Yeatman Hospital, which committed £1740 to the project as part of its community outreach.

David Hayes CBE, Chairman of the Friends of the Yeatman Hospital, said: “At the forefront of The Friends of the Yeatman Hospital’s priorities is emergency and long-term care for the Sherborne community. The defibrillator project is an excellent example of our contributions to emergency care, and we are delighted to collaborate with Sherborne Town Council and local businesses to ensure the equipment’s introduction and sustainability”.

Nick Baker

Nick Baker