Printed Date: 27/04/2018

Dame Helen Presents GLL Lifesavers with Prestigious Award

Charitable social enterprise GLL has won a prestigious accolade at the 2013 London Ambulance Service (LAS) awards.

An awards ceremony, attended by more than 200 guests, was held on 9th June 2013 in order to recognise the life-saving work of the LAS’s Voluntary Responder Group. Honours were presented to volunteer life savers by Dame Helen Mirren, who became involved with the charity after a friend was resuscitated from a cardiac arrest at the premiere of her film The Debt two years ago.

GLL topped the Organisation category and was recognised for its commitment to having defibrillators in nearly 100 of the leisure centres it manages.

Servicing more than 800,000 members each year, GLL was the first UK leisure operator to install defibrillators as part of a joint initiative with LAS and the British Heart Foundation.

With specialist support from the London Ambulance Service, GLL have been able to train several hundred staff members within participating centres to use the defibrillators

to try to restart a patient’s heart should they suffer a cardiac arrest.

Ambulance Operations Manager Chris Hartley-Sharpe, who coordinates the charity said: "London Ambulance Service staff get to the vast majority of patients quickly, but as many of the stories from tonight show, our volunteers start giving lifesaving care to patients almost immediately, giving them the best chance of survival."

GLL Director of Operations Andy McCabe said: "We are really pleased to have this life-saving equipment on-site. Every year we have many thousands of visitors to the leisure centres we operate and there is of course a risk that one or more of these may suffer a heart attack or cardiac arrest. The defibrillators, and the London Ambulance Service’s training, have given our staff the confidence to carry out first aid in even the most extreme of situations and we are very grateful."