The ceremony took place on Friday September 17. The defibrillator was part funded by Wymondham Town Council and Saffron Housing Community Foundation Trust. The church’s Community Outreach Project Organiser Arnie McConnell worked with the funders to obtain the device and successfully apply for a British Heart Foundation grant.
Lady Dannatt was given a tour of the Outreach Community Project Foodbank at the Roman Catholic Church in Wymondham.
In her address, she thanked everyone who took part in the initiative. She spoke about the importance of the defibrillator, and acknowledged the work of the Wymondham Community Outreach Project: “I can’t tell you how much pleasure it gives me to come to an event like this. You have achieved so much for others who may be struggling in the community. I see so many kind people here who are really getting out and helping others. I always say Wymondham is a special place and this confirms it for me.”
Arnie also thanked the community volunteers: “This project depends on each and every one of you; your contribution makes the world of difference to those individuals and families experiencing hardship in our community. I particularly want to thank Canon Pat Cleary without whom this project just does not happen.”
Among the attendees were Wymondham’s Mayor, Cllr Kevin Hurn and James Francis, CEO of Saffron Housing Trust. Also present were representatives from various community groups and organisations, including Andrew Clarke of ‘The Shed’, whose members made and installed the ceremonial plaque’s ‘reveal curtain’. Waitrose in Wymondham kindly provided refreshments for the guests.
Cllr Hurn said it was “very important that the town now has a good network of defibrillators available” while Mr Francis expressed his delight that Saffron’s Community Foundation “was able to link with the local community to part-fund this life-saving package”.
Canon Pat Cleary told the volunteers, sponsors and guests that: “All of your contributions make a world of difference to our community”. He continued: “We are so grateful for Lady Dannatt for giving up her time for this wonderful occasion, where we are going to officially declare the defibrillator operational. Many of you have now received the training. Also, I would like to thank you for all for your help with the community project: the community working together, church and neighbour is just as it should be.”
Pictured above are (left to right) Andrew Clarke, The Shed Wymondham, Carl Lee, Store Manager Wymondham Waitrose, Annette James, Wymondham Town Counsellor, Canon Patrick Cleary, Lady Dannatt MBE, HM Lord Lieutenant Norfolk, James Francis, CEO Saffron Housing, Arnie McConnell, Wymondham Foodbank, Councillor Kevin Hurn, Mayor of Wymondham. Picture: Carmina McConnell.