A PORT Seton family who helped fundraise to provide life-saving equipment for their local community have organised a special event aimed at giving residents the confidence to use the machines.

Gordon and Karen Kidd decided to launch a bid to provide more public access defibrillators – which can save the life of someone suffering a cardiac arrest – after realising they did not know where their nearest one was should they be faced with an emergency.

The couple took part in last year’s Edinburgh Marathon, organised a band night in Cockenzie’s Thorntree Inn, and daughters Abbie and Mary held a bake sale as the family raised cash for the equipment.

The fundraising bought a new defibrillator which will be based in the Thorntree Inn; paid for one gifted to Preston Lodge High School by the Walk With Scott Foundation, which Karen helps run, to be reconditioned; and bought a cabinet so a defibrillator bought for Cockenzie Primary School by janitor Norrie Campbell could be put outside to allow 24-hour public access.

Now they are hosting a community day to help people learn more about using the defibrillators.

Karen said: “Gordon and I are both born and bred in Port Seton and we’ve lost close friends through heart attacks over the last few years.

“We decided to raise money initially to buy for the two schools, Preston Lodge High School (where Gordon is a teacher of Chemistry) and Cockenzie Primary School.

“We then found out that Cockenzie Primary janitor Norrie Campbell, our neighbour, had donated his own money to buy a defibrillator for the school.

“We have used our funds to buy an outdoor cabinet for the primary school.”

All the defibrillators will be going into place over the next week and will be registered with the Scottish Ambulance Service.

A community awareness session is being held in Port Seton Centre next Saturday (November 4) for people who want to learn about using the defibrillators. The drop-in event is 9.30am-12.30pm.

Karen said: “We wanted to hold a community drop-in to allow people to pop in, have a cuppa, and familiarise themselves on how easy it is to work a defibrillator – it’s so simple as the machine does everything for you – so there’s no reason to be scared that you’re ‘not trained’.”

Lisa MacInnes, national programme manager from Save a Life for Scotland, said: “This event is a great example of a local community coming together to learn the lifesaving skills of CPR and defibrillation. We would encourage everyone in the area to come along, have fun and learn to be a lifesaver.”