South West Wales

Defibrillator charity couple get Point of Light award

Anthony and Sherilyn Hamilton-Shaw Image copyright Family picture

A couple who have helped install more than 200 defibrillators across Wales have been recognised by Prime Minister David Cameron.

Sherilyn and Anthony Hamilton-Shaw set up the charity Cariad in 2012 after Mrs Hamilton-Shaw discovered she had a heart abnormality which means she could go into cardiac arrest at any moment.

It funds and installs equipment in schools, community and sports centres.

They were given a Point of Light award for outstanding volunteers.

'Inspiring others'

The charity started by fundraising to provide defibrillators to seven schools in their hometown of Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, after the couple discovered there was a lack of them in many communities.

Now, along with 15 volunteers, they visit communities all over Wales to help fundraise for equipment, raise awareness and provide training, in partnership with Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, the Welsh Ambulance Service and Community First Responders.

Currently, 8,000 people a year in Wales suffer cardiac arrest away from a hospital, and the survival rate is 3%. Every minute without a defibrillator reduces survival chances by 15%.

Mr Cameron said of the couple: "Sherilyn and Anthony have worked tirelessly to raise awareness of how defibrillators can help to save lives.

"By inspiring others to join the work of Cariad they have helped hundreds of communities to raise money and install their own defibrillator."

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