Ivanhoe Ashby de la Zouch U3A U3A Group Logo

Monthly Meetings

We meet at 2 pm on the fourth Tuesday of the month at the Congregational Church, Kilwardby St, Ashby.
There is normally a guest speaker or, in December, musical entertainment.
This is followed by tea, coffee and biscuits and a chance to meet and talk with other members.


Future programme
DateSpecial EventsSpeakerSubject

Tue 26th FebWilliam J French
+ Sharleen Taylor
A Butler to Royalty
+ A short talk about the Royal Voluntary Service
Tue 26th MarPat and Pete FitzpatrickThe Taj Mahal
Tue 23rd AprPaul NewshamBiometrics - "There will never be another you"
Tue 28th MayLeslie PowellGuide Dogs for the Blind
Tue 25th JunPhilip CaineBarrow to Baghdad and back again
Tue 23rd JulAGMGraham ShortThe hands of genius
Tue 27th AugCream Tea EventNo speaker
Tue 24th SepJack PerksBest of British
Tue 22nd OctAlexa Wigfield"When You Wish Upon A Star" - Dream making for sick children.
Tue 26th NovRoger HailwoodThe Yorkshire Dales.
Tue 10th DecChristmas EventNick GravestockAyres & Graces - Christmas entertainment
Tue 28th JanStephanie and Trevor MeeConfessions of game show junkies

Tea Rota, Meeters & Greeters, Reporting Groups

MonthTea GroupMeet & GreetReporting Groups
Tue 26th FebGlenys Morrice, Maggie Rice, Avril & Bill WilsonHenry Sharples & Julia FraserNo groups reporting
Tue 26th MarJohn Howlett, Joyce Ottey, Margaret Berry, Mary GoughComputing and Digital Photography
Tue 23rd AprJane Barnett, Marian Shuttlewood, June Meir, Sheila Hampson
Tue 28th MayMargaret Baxendale, Neil Roberts, Leslie Roberts


22nd January
Charlotte Wright & John Lilley from Intercare
Bob Lilley on Defibrillators and how to use them


This month's meeting differed from the normal in that we had 2 speakers, both talking about medical issues.

We started with Intercare, a charity set up to send medicines and medical supplies to Africa.
Charlotte, their fundraiser, gave us a quick history and explained the way that they obtain their supplies from medical supply companies. Some are donated if for some reason they do not conform to UK requirements but most have to be bought with donated monies.

Intercare is based in Syston and was started in 1995 by Dr David Rosenburg who had a variety of unwanted medical samples at his surgery. He asked other surgeries if they too had any to spare and that started the first consignment.

The consignments are sent twice a year to 100 different clinics and hospitals in 5 countries, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Zambia, Tanzania and Malawi.

The boxes are all tracked to Africa where upon tracking becomes more difficult but on arrival at their destination the recipients phone to confirm their arrival.

There are 5 paid staff members and 50 volunteers who work either in the office or the warehouse. They check if the supplies will still be in date when they arrive as the boxes will take time to transport and process on arrival. Packing boxes is quite an art, last year they sent 649 boxes weighing 10,159kgs with the approx. value of each box £7,200. So far, since they started, they have raised £15,171,038

John then spoke about his role as a volunteer and the trip he took with Intercare to Tanzania last year. Intercare try to visit all of their clinics and hospitals every 2 years to check on the situation in the facilities , to talk to the doctors and nurses about their needs and qualifications.

Intercare do not want to waste it's resources so they check to see if what the clinic or hospital asks for is actually being used unlike other charities working in the area who have built buildings only, with no funding for anything else and they are left empty, or who have donated vehicles that clinics cannot afford to run because of the cost of diesel fuel.
Intercare make sure that what it sends will be of value.

John told us stories of the way the doctors deal with the huge rural areas, eking out the medicines and medical supplies until the next shipment arrives, also the success stories of people and children they have treated with limited resources at hand.

Charlotte rounded up by explaining how anyone can help raise funds, and how they run several events themselves from ceilidhs, quiz nights, golf days and treasure hunts. They also have had runners taking part in the London marathon and the Great North Run .

We next had Brian Lilley from Shepshed who is a volunteer Community First Responder organised by Shepshed Lions who are linked to East Midlands Ambulance Service. The stand-by volunteer is dispatched when a 999 call comes in and because they are local will usually arrive before the ambulance. They mainly cover incidents of cardiac arrest, stoke, diabetes, and anaphylaxis where they can administer CPR and other first aid until the paramedics arrive. They do not go to Road Traffic accidents. The service was started with 8 volunteers in 2013 it now has 19 in the Shepshed and Loughborough area.

Brian came mostly to talk about Community Public Access Defibrillators (CPADs) and how members of the public can use them to save lives. Each year there are 30,000 cardiac arrests, but the survival rate out of hospital is currently very low at 7%. Immediate CPR followed by the use of a CPAD can make a big difference. Every minute lost reduces the chance of survival by 10%.

The survival rate is so low because few people have been trained in CPR or are afraid to administer it partly for fear of hurting someone or breaking their ribs. As Brian pointed out, a person who has had a heart attack will die without intervention. A broken rib is the least of their worries. He also pointed out that the law was changed such that you cannot be prosecuted or sued for any injury caused whilst attempting to save someone's life. (Basically you press hard with both hands on their breastbone to the rhythm of "Nellie the Elephant" and keep going.)

Nor are people aware of defibrillators, where they are and how to use them. Defibrillators are placed in the community for the public's use often on public buildings or on shop fronts. They are in a locked box to prevent vandalism. (Yes, people try to steal or damage them!)

In the event of an emergency you should first ring 999 to get the code to open the box. This will also set an ambulance and first responder on the way. If you do not know where a defibrillator is situated the emergency services will give you directions to one if it's within 800 yds of the phone being used.

Having opened the box and turned on the machine, it will tell you precisely how to use it. You just need to follow the spoken instructions to attach its sticky pads to the patient and it will start to analyse them. Do not touch the patient when it's checking for responses nor whilst it is shocking them. It will remind you about this before it administers shocks. Once it has completed its shocks, you will be asked to continue with chest compressions, do so, until either the machine asks you to stop so it can re analyse the heartbeat again or help arrives.

There are at least 4 defibrillators in Ashby: On the outside of the disabled toilet next door to Wetherspoons; on the outside of Huntingdon house at the top of Market St; in the Hood Leisure Centre and inside Tesco near the checkouts.

There is still a chance that you will not save that person, but without intervention they will almost certainly not survive. You and they have nothing to lose by trying.