THE quest is on to raise £1,500 for a public access defibrillator in Farnham Park – after Waverley Borough Council gave the go-ahead to locate a life-saving device on the wall of its rangers hut this week.

The council’s decision represents an early victory for the Herald’s Have a Heart campaign, launched earlier this month in partnership with Farnham Sports Council and Heartstart Farnham Lions.

It aims to help make Farnham one of the safest towns in the south east to suffer a cardiac arrest.

Despite Farnham Park being used by hundreds of young sports men and women every weekend – not to mention the thousands of visitors at the annual Round Table fireworks display – it remains a glaring omission in the town’s network of life-saving defibs.

The Herald met with Farnham Sports Council committee members Gail Whattingham and Marion Stockley, who are leading the project, to help right this wrong. And the Sports Council has since secured the backing of Waverley Borough Council.

The next step is to raise the £1,500 needed to fund an automated external defibrillator (AED) – with the Herald launching a crowd-funding campaign online at this week to meet the cost. Donations of any size are heartily encouraged.

A council spokesman told the Herald: “Waverley Borough Council ishappy to support Farnham Sports Council with this important community project, having successfully installed defibrillators in other areas of the borough. As soon as the equipment is received, we will commence installing the defibrillator at Farnham Park.”

As well as backing calls for a life-saving device at Farnham Park, the Have a Heart campaign also seeks to support Heartstart Farnham Lions’ efforts to create a defibrillator heart register for Farnham.

The group has, since last year, been working with Farnham Town Council to compile a list of AEDs.

Defibrillators have a huge impact on survival rates for anyone who suffers an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, increasing it from under one per cent to over 60 if applied quickly.

Many businesses own one of these devices for use by their own staff. However, Heartstart and the council would like them to register their machines with both the South East Coast Ambulance Service and with the Heartstart team.

The NHS, the British Heart Foundation and Microsoft are in the planning stages of a national register, but Heartstart and the council are keen to get the provision in Farnham mapped out.

If your business or home has a defibrillator and you are happy to have it registered, send an email to

The Herald would also love to hear from any graphic designers willing to volunteer their time and expertise to design a map of Farnham’s defibs.

The Herald is also supporting Heartstart Farnham Lions’ free lifesaving skills classes, with places still available on the June 12 and July 10 sessions. Book online at