October 2022 - visit to the KSS Base
Jo from the team was lucky enough to visit the Kent, Sussex and Surrey Air Ambulance base in Rochester in October. The Farnham Lions, to which Heartstart are affiliated, are huge supporters of KSS and along with other clubs in the South East district have helped raise over £400,000 for the air ambulance. The KSS receives 85% of their funding from charitable donations and are an essential life saving service for patients who need A and E care at the scene of their accident or injury. To find out more about them and the incredible work they do, click here.
August 2022 - losing the locks for Heartstart!
Paramedic Beau Elsmore is fundraising for Heartstart Farnham Lions, by chopping the locks he has been growing for the last six years! Beau recently mentored Heartstart scheme manager Jo, who began paramedic training in September 2021. He was inspired by Heartstart's vision to train as many people as possible and is donating half the proceeds of the charity chop to the team, which will help fund new equipment. You can sponsor him here
July 2022 - Heartstart turns 10!
Heartstart Farnham Lions opened its doors ten years ago this month, on the 18th July. Since then, the scheme has trained 1,534 people in their twice monthly classes, along with many other people in schools and community groups. Keith's legacy continues, in the lives that have been saved as a result. His motto lives on - "don't be a bystander".
British Heart Foundation October 2021 - Ticker Tapes!
Founder member and scheme manager Jo speaks to Bill Snaddon from the British Heart Foundation, about why it's so important to get involved and to not be a bystander. The podcast can be accessed via the BHF website on the Ticker Tapes page, or you can listen on Apple podcasts here
October 2021 - classes resume!
Classes are set to resume on 13th October after a long break through the global pandemic. All instructors are vaccinated and classes will follow COVID-19 health and safety procedures. Now more than ever it is vital that people learn what to do in an emergency. Please come along and learn how to save a life!
Visit our bookings page to sign yourself up!
March 2020: COVID 19 - classes pause
Classes have paused during the COVID-19 pandemic, following guidance from the BHF that face to face classes are not appropriate at this time. The Heartstart team are running online resuscitation updates, which provide advice for those who have already completed the course. Some of the protocols have changed and these are covered in a half hour presentation led by Dr Leanne Eveson and Professor Tom Quinn. These are delivered via Zoom and can be booked here.
September 2019: Aston Defibrillator Fund Launches
A major new community initiative to provide defibrillators in Farnham was being launched at the town council offices at the end of September. The Aston Defibrillator Fund was established in memory of Heartstart Founder Keith Aston, who spent the last 9 years of his life promoting the importance of these machines. Donors have already pledged over £11,000 and the money will go toward the provision, placement and maintenance of defibrillators in the Farnham area. Heartstart Clinical Director Professor Tom Quinn, Scheme Manager Joanna Michaelides and Trainer Keith Harris are three of the trustees of this newly established community fund.
May 2019: Jo to Take on London to Brighton Challenge
Jo from the team has set her sights on completing the London to Brighton bike ride in June this year, in memory of Heartstart Founder Keith Aston, who sadly passed away last year whilst out riding his beloved bike. The 56 mile route will be quite a challenge for Jo, who has not ridden a bike in 20 years! The British Heart Foundation are using Keith and Jo's story to promote the ride, so watch out for some local and possibly national media to follow. One of Keith's fellow Lions Graeme is also taking part along with his son Josh and friend Gary. Jo's husband Jason will be riding and also one of her oldest friends, James. To sponsor the team and help Jo reach her fundraising target please click here.
April 2019: Defib Installed in Tilford
Some of the Heartstart Team helped the Tilford and Rushmore Neighbourhood Neighbour's Scheme with some ideas for funding their new defibrillator, which was officially launched on 8th April. Angie Hurd from TARNS was very keen to ensure the village had a defibrillator that was accessible to all and the Barley Mow Pub agreed to have one installed on the wall. With support from the Bristish Heart Foundation and several local groups, the defibrillator was installed in a temperature controlled, unlocked cabinet and will be accessible 24/7. The Heartstart Team will be providing a drop in session to train community members on 18th September.
Well done TARNS!
June 2018: Tributes Paid to Heartstart Founder Member Keith Aston
The Heartstart team, including members old and new, paid tribute to Keith Aston at the last class of the term this week. Keith sadly passed away from a stroke on the 18th June. He was the driving force behind Heartstart; he administrated, set up the kit, dealt with PR, took bookings, renewed our affiliation, trained, checked defibrillators and provided support to the whole team. Heartstart will continue its work, as Keith would have wanted - it is his legacy to his community. Remembering all his hard work, friendship, knowledge and enthusiasm. The team raised a toast to one of his favourite sayings, which is "don't be a bystander". Keith was certainly not a bystander - he had a second chance at life and he paid it forward every day. He will be greatly missed.
January 2018: Town Map now includes Defibrillators
Two founding members of Heartstart Farnham Lions work alongside the town council to look at the placement and maintenance of defibrillators, or "heart restarters" in the town. Professor Tom Quinn, Heartstart Clinical director chairs the committee, which also includes representatives from the South East Coast Ambulance Service and the local St John Ambulance CFR group. “As a town Farnham has made great progress in raising funds for defibrillator heart restarter equipment and our key task now is to spread the word that CPR and early use of a heart restarter improve chances of survival in cardiac arrest," said Professor Quinn.The town has now included the defibrillators in its map, which went out in the recent resident's guide and can also be found online.
28th November 2017: Heartstart Founders Receive Award
Keith and Jo from the Heartstart team were surprised and honoured to receive the Melvin Jones Fellowship award last night, for their work with Heartstart. The award was named after the founder of the Lions - it is the highest form of recognition for Lions and embodies humanitarian ideas consistent with the nature and purpose of Lionism. "We are delighted to receive this award, thank you so much" said Jo Michaelides. "Our work in the community has been incredibly well supported by the Lions, our thanks for believing in the importance of what we do."
Heartstart are looking forward to reaching their 1000th trainee around April time and have bookings in the diary for local community groups, as well as the regular Wednesday classes.
15th November 2017: Heartstart Hits its 100th Class!
Heartstart Farnham Lions held its landmark 100th class at the St John Ambulance Hall on Wednesday 15th November, five years after the scheme started.
The team taught an enthusiastic group of participants, which included Lions’ president Andrew Lodge and town mayor Mike Hodge some of the simple skills which can save a life.
“It’s incredible to see how far we have come since our first class in the ATC building all those years ago,” said founder member and trainer Jo Michaelides.
“A lot has come from a split-second decision to stop, and from someone using his second chance at life to pay it forward and educate others.”
July 2017: Trainee Saves Son from Choking
This summer, HSFL trainee Gulfer saved her son's life when he got a hard bit of ice stuck in his throat while on holiday. Gulfer had to use back blows and abdominal thrusts and when Aiden became unresponsive and stopped breathing, CPR. Fortunately the CPR dislodged the obstruction and Aiden began to breathe again. She without doubt saved his life - well done Gulfer! Read the full story here: www.farnhamherald.com/article.cfm?id=123893&headline=Drama%20as%20mum%20saves%20son%E2%80%99s%20life§ionIs=news&searchyear=2017