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29th April 2024

St Austell Brewery and Cape Cornwall Pilot Gig Club co-fund Newlyn defibrillator

St Austell Brewery and Cape Cornwall Pilot Gig Club have joined forces to co-fund a new defibrillator at the Fisherman’s Arms in Newlyn.

This is the latest in a series of defibrillators which have been installed since St Austell Brewery launched its Heart of the Community campaign last year. The company identified 56 pubs in its estate which do not currently have access to a lifesaving device and is raising money – through its Charitable Trust – to install one at each site. The company is match funding every pound raised towards their mission.

St Austell Brewery has installed 21 new defibrillators in locations across the South West to date, which have already been used to save two lives at the Rashleigh Arms (Charlestown) and Harbour Inn (Porthleven).

The latest defibrillator to be installed is at the Fisherman’s Arms in Newlyn. The Cape Cornwall Pilot Gig Club played a big part in securing this particular defibrillator, having part-funded the equipment following a cardiac arrest of one of their rowing team in 2022.

David Sheppard suffered a heart attack at sea whilst rowing near St Michael’s Mount. Thankfully, his fellow rowers, assisted by retired GP Dr Simon Dean, gave David CPR on the gig at sea before getting him on dry land, when a defibrillator was used by the ambulance service.

After the incident, the club began crowdfunding for a defibrillator. There are already two in Newlyn, but the top of the village, by the Fisherman’s Inn and near the main Brixham fishing port, hasn’t been covered by the 200 meter radius required for the ambulance service to direct people to their nearest defibrillator.

Working with the Ronnie Richards Memorial Charity (RRMC) – which fundraises for defibrillators to be installed in schools and public places all over the Duchy and train young people how to use the devices – they identified the Fisherman’s Arms as the best place to mount the defibrillator, with the additional funding coming from St Austell Brewery’s Charitable Trust.

Thankfully, David made a full recovery and is back to rowing. He said: “I’ve been rowing since about 2018. It’s such a wonderful experience, I was smitten with it as soon as I started. After my incident, I couldn’t wait to get back on the water.

“We’re so pleased to have funded the defibrillator. People have a much better chance of survival with access to defibrillators. It gives people a higher chance of staying alive until the emergency services arrive.”

Piers Thompson, St Austell Brewery’s External Relations Director, said: “Our partnership with the RRMC has been going from strength to strength with defibrillator installations ongoing throughout our pub estate. The equipment has already been used to save two lives, showing just how vital it is to have such this resource in places not currently covered.

“The efforts that the Cape Cornwall Gig Club went to, to keep David alive on the water, and their subsequent fundraising to fund part of this defibrillator shows how strong our communities are in working together to ensure everyone in the South West – whether living here or visiting – has the best chance of surviving a cardiac arrest should the worst happen.”

The pub is also the first in the South West to have been provided with a bleed kit from the RRMC, which will be located inside the defibrillator case at the pub.

The Heart of the Community campaign raises money through St Austell Brewery’s Charitable Trust to buy and install defibrillators. Pub customers can help save lives by purchasing a portion of fish & chips (25p per portion will go towards the defibrillator campaign) or by scanning a QR code on posters.

St Austell Brewery will match fund every £1 donated by the public. In the UK as many as 100,000 hospital admissions each year are due to heart attacks – that’s 260 admissions each day or one every five minutes.

It’s estimated that around 1.4 million people alive in the UK today have survived a heart attack – around one million men and 380,000 women.

The business has partnered with the Ronnie Richards Memorial Charity to buy the vital equipment. Co-founders Paul and Liz Williams set up the charity in memory of Liz’s brother Ronnie who sadly died from sudden cardiac arrest whilst playing his beloved game of football at Penzance Leisure Centre.


Contact: Charlotte Turner,

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