Bidwell Scout and Guide Centre, Thetford

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It was all arranged by W.Bro Keith Cootes, come to the centre for 7pm, there will be scouts and leaders present and you can hand over the machine; sounds simple!

I arranged to collect W.Bro Styles our Provincial Secretary and off we went to this turn off the A134 in the middle of Thetford forest. No problem we will follow sat nav guidance; wrong. Still we did find the centre located down a track and as Keith said there were Guides and Scouts and leaders all around.

The defibrillator idea was a joint project of St Winnold and Breckland Mark Lodges with help from the EAMBA. These two lodges working together for their local community and in conversation with the centre agreed a need for this life saving machine in this remote location.

We were welcomed and introduced by the President of S W Norfolk Scouts W.Bro. John Walker who outlined the evenings programme, he invited us to enjoy the fantastic buffet and watch a video on the use of the machine. We were then given a practical demonstration by a scout young leader on the simplicity and ease of use of the machine. We all agreed that even I could do the business! It really is as simple as following the verbal instructions spoken by the defibrillator, and it is capable of making complex decisions in seconds so there should be no danger of it shocking a patient if this is not necessary.

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I was then invited to make a short speech about the Mark and the EAMBA and our charity ethos, present some certificates appropriately enough on first aid after which John Walker the Scout President for S W Norfolk presented me with a scout ‘thanks’ badge (photo above). I have to tell you brethren that simple act of kindness and warmth just about finished me off, having given those badges to many a deserving person during my 30 year journey with the scout movement. What an honour for our Province to see our careful and targeted resources so greatly appreciated, I will wear our ‘thanks’ badge with pride when the occasion demands.