STAFF at a Washington energy recruitment firm have helped boost the number of defibrillators in the town after their own fund-raising campaign.

The team at Visuna, based at Wynn House in Hertburn Industrial Estate, took part in a number of fund-raising events and activities to pay for a defibrillator to be installed on-site.

The company employs 50 people and has had a presence in the area for more than 20 years.

 “The closest defibrillator to our Washington office is one mile away, so it’s likely this would be too far to save a life in an emergency situation, explained chief executive of Visuna, Ford Garrard.

“The team decided they’d like to purchase a defibrillator for the office and received some funding from the London Hearts charity to help with this, as well as hosting their own fund-raising activities.

“This life-saving device will be situated outside the UK office, funded by team charity activities and will be a public access defibrillator, so in the event of an emergency, anyone in the local area or from any of the businesses on the estate will be able to make use of it.”

Events to raise the funds includes a pancake day buffet, Easter egg decorating competition and hunt and a raffle, with a star prize of England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford’s signed gloves.

Along with a donation from the company, the team raised £1,335 for the defibrillator.

“I’m extremely proud of the team and have loved seeing how passionate everyone has been about this very worthy cause,” Ford added.

“At Visuna, a key part of our ethos focuses on supporting and organising charity events, and approaching the team for charity suggestions ensures we choose causes that are close to our people’s hearts.”

Other charity initiatives the company has taken part in include a Macmillan Coffee Morning that raised over £630, donating goods to the Washington Community Food Project and supporting Norah’s North Pole, which ensures that as many children as possible wake up with a gift from Santa on Christmas morning.

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