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Youth club receives medical kit

A life-saving heart defibrillator has been donated by Hartshorne Group to a popular youth club that is used by hundreds of young people in Shrewsbury.

The medical device was presented to the SYA (formerly known as Shropshire Youth Association) in Upton Lane after staff at the company Hartshorne Group raised cash as part of a Healthy Heart Campaign. 

The defibrillator can be used to restart a person's heart in an emergency, and it will be available to the community within the immediate area, which includes a scout and guide facility and a BMX park.

Richard Parkes, CEO of the SYA, said: "We are located close to a recreational park that is popular with young people, so we are very grateful to Hartshorne Group. Young people can sometimes have undiagnosed heart problems so it is reassuring to know we have access to a defibrillator."

SYA supports around 100 youth clubs and organisations throughout Shropshire, offering age-appropriate facilities that are used by 5,000 children and young people weekly from school Year 6 and above.

"We are a registered charity that offers a warm and welcoming environment staffed by experienced youth workers, where young people can talk to appropriate adults who will listen and offer support," said Mr Parkes.

Hartshorne Group, which supplies and services Volvo commercial vehicles at its Shrewsbury depot in Harlescott, is a long-term supporter of the SYA, having previously donated funds in the past.

Hartshorne managing director Ian Middleton said: "We're very proud to support the great work of SYA. Some of our staff have family members who go to the centre in Upton Lane and one of our apprentices also previously used the facilities, so we know how important SYA is to the local community."  

Hartshorne Group launched its Healthy Heart Campaign last year in conjunction with West Midlands Ambulance Service to fund the installation of community defibrillators, which come with voice instructions and can be used by anyone in an emergency.

Hartshorne operates nine depots across the Midlands and donates £1 for every hour of physical exercise that staff record via an app. They have clocked up over 30,000 miles by running, walking or cycling, more than the circumference of the planet.