Northampton businessman giving back to his community by fundraising for life-saving defibrillators

The automated external defibrillators (AED) will be installed in public places around the neighbourhood

Friday, 30th April 2021, 9:05 am

A business owner who wants to give back to his community is fundraising to buy life-saving defibrillators for his Northampton neighbourhood.

Steve Curtress has lived and worked in Grange Park since 2001 and has fitted hundreds of bathrooms in the area via his business I.A.P Bathrooms.

The 42-year-old says the recommendations from members of the community keep him in business and ‘mean the world’ to him.

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The defibrillators will be mounted on walls around Grange Park. (File picture).

Now he wants to thank everyone who has ever recommended him by organising fundraising for, as well as the purchase and installation of, up to three defibrillators around the neighbourhood.

Steve said: “I’m blessed with living in a great community full of people who have recommended my business for years. “This is my way of thanking them.”

“I can’t keep just thanking people for doing that or keep buying them a bottle of wine, so I have to try and give something back.

“They keep me in business, putting food on my table and paying my mortgage and that means the world to me so I have to do something for the community.

“This is my way of thanking them.”

Steve originally had the during the first lockdown last year after he asked on a community Facebook page what people would like him to fundraise for and a friend reached out and suggested defibrillators.

Since then, Steve has worked with the parish council and South Northants Community Responders to deal with practicalities and locations.

So far, plans for locations include close to the community centre, Grange Park pavilion and the shops, however these still need to be confirmed.

Steve added: “During the first lockdown I wasn’t working as much and I had time to think about other things, which is when I came up with the idea.

“I didn’t know much about them but I spoke to my friend whose husband had a cardiac arrest recently and realised that the time between having a cardiac arrest and having an AED could be a life-changing event.

“I didn’t realise how important that time scale was with making a full recovery or being left with brain damage.

“It doesn’t matter how good the NHS is, if you have a defibrillator on your doorstep, help can be with you within a few minutes.”

Once the parish council and South Northants Community Responders were on board, Steve set up an online fundraiser, just last week, which has already reached more than £2,000.

Steve continued: “It’s had a great response.

“We had great success from day one with Highfields Property Services donating £500 within hours of the campaign being launched, quickly followed by Portfolios Property management, Kids Lingo, Neli’s Barbers and Grange Park Flooring among others all donating generous amounts.

“My company managed to make £260 with sales of some bathroom items, which I topped up to £500 myself.

“All these together, with local resident’s generosity has brought the total up to £2,960.”

Clipper has also offered to donate a defibrillator to the cause and Steve hopes the life-saving equipment could be in place within a few months.

Any leftover money will be donated to Baby Basics Northampton - a charity which supports vulnerable mums and was located in Grange Park until recently.

To support the community efforts to install defibrillators, visit the GoFundMe page here.

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