DARNICK Village Development Trust has this week joined our Heart of the Community campaign.

The group is raising funds to install an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) at the Smith Memorial Hall.

The trust, working with Scottish Borders Council, recently formed a local Resilient Communities Group, which helped a number of residents during some of last winter’s heavy snow.

And now the volunteers are to install a defibrillator, after a request was made by a number of villagers at the group’s last AGM.

A total of £400 has already been raised through a quiz night held earlier this year.

But the group needs a further £1,000 and members are hoping the local community will get behind the drive.

Andrew Panter, Darnick Resilient Communities Volunteers co-ordinator said: “I hope Darnick residents will respond positively to this appeal as a publicly accessible AED will be a real community asset and potential life saver, even though it is hoped that it is never needed.”

Volunteers have been busy delivering leaflets around the village to let residents know more about their plans.

And they have enlisted the help of Selkirk-based charity Scottish HART and Bowden electrician Neil Gillespie who will undertake the installation.

As we reported when we launched our Heart of the Community campaign, the Borders is already the Scottish capital for surviving cardiac arrests.

Since 2014, survival rates have soared from four per cent to 29 per cent (the Scottish-wide figure is 16 per cent).

But we want to go one better and see the region become the world leader.

Sweden and Seattle currently top the table with 30 per cent.

We’re teaming up with local groups, like the Darnick Village Development Trust, and individuals to spread the word – raising cash and awareness.

We want to see a defibrillator in every community – to make sure every part of the region is covered should someone suffer a cardiac arrest.

  • Do you have a story that could help raise awareness of cardiac arrest?
  • Or are you fundraising for a defibrillator? Get in touch and email us with your story, plus any photos you may have to our reporter Callum Hodgson.
  • Email him at callum.hodgson@newsquest.co.uk or phone 01896 758469.