Two charities joined forces to raise money to help save lives in Stewarton.

St John Scotland’s Ayrshire and Arran branch and the 1st Stewarton Boys’ Brigade have been raising money to provide a Public Access Defibrillator for the past year.

Thanks to funds raised through a coffee morning, breakfast event and online campaign, as well as donations from individuals and organisations, the defibrillator was purchased late last year.

It has been installed at John Knox Church on the High Street, and will be available to the community 24/7 in case it is needed in an emergency.

Now, Stewarton residents are being invited to an awareness day to learn life-saving CPR and see how easy the defibrillator is to use. The free session is being held at the Stewarton Youth and Community Centre, Standalane, on Saturday, February 22 between 10am – 1pm.

Chair of St John Scotland in Ayrshire and Arran, Rose-Ann Cuninghame, said: “We’re delighted to work with the community in Stewarton and especially the Boys’ Brigade to install this defibrillator and raise awareness locally of life-saving CPR. We would like to thank everyone who donated to the defibrillator fund to help make Stewarton a safer place, and we hope to welcome as many people as we can to the awareness session on the 22nd.”

Willie Campbell, Captain of the 1st Stewarton Boys’ Brigade, said: “We were approached by St John Scotland about partnering to provide a 24/7 Public Access Defibrillator.

“Although there are provisions in the town during the day there was nothing at night. As a trained First Aider and someone who has had to administer CPR, it was easy to see the benefits and offer our support.

“We hope no one ever needs it, but at same time, if they do it is there and accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”