Public back campaign to buy defibrillators

Staff at the SuperValu store in Dromore are raising funds to buy life-saving defibrillators for local schools. Pictured are Emma Harrison, Jayne Trimble, Karen Long and Gillian Gibson.
Staff at the SuperValu store in Dromore are raising funds to buy life-saving defibrillators for local schools. Pictured are Emma Harrison, Jayne Trimble, Karen Long and Gillian Gibson.

A campaign to raise funds to buy life-saving defibrillators for a number of schools in Dromore and nearby areas looks set to more than double its original target.

The fundraising drive, set up last week following the tragic sudden death of local schoolgirl Isobel Anderson, has seen hundreds of people make donations via collection buckets located in the SuperValu store on Banbridge Road a JustGiving page online.

The incredible response to the fundraiser saw it exceed its original £2,500 target in just two days. And at the time of going to print, the revised target of £5,000 was also close to being surpassed.

Karen Long, a supervisor at SuperValu, and her neighbour Gary Barlow, who set up the JustGiving page, say they have already raised enough money to purchase defibrillators for several local schools. But they are determined to continue fundraising in a bid to raise as much money as possible so that others can also benefit.

“We have well exceeded our target. People have been very generous,” Karen said. “Someone anonymous donated £1,200 through the JustGiving page. It’s been fantastic.”

Karen and her colleagues are planning a static cycle fundraiser in-store this weekend in a bid to raise more funds.

“We will be doing a spinathon in store this Saturday from 10am til 5pm just to try and raise as much money as we can. The staff will be doing it, but if anyone wants to come along and do 10 minutes on the bike they’d be more than welcome,” she continued.

“We’re going to see how much money we can raise on Saturday and then I’ll sit down with Gary and work out a plan of action for where the defibrillators are going.

“As far as I know Dromore Central Primary [the school where 10-year-old Isobel was a pupil] are getting one donated to them, so the money we’ve raised will help other schools. We’ve got Dromore Nursery, St Coleman’s in the town and obviously there are schools in the surrounding area that we’re trying to help now, because we think every school in Northern Ireland should have one.”

Anyone who would like to make a donation to the fundraising campaign can do so by calling into the SuperValu store in Dromore or logging on to www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/dromore-defibrillator