Late Christmas present for Cornish charity

Mon 25th January 2016

White River Place Shopping Centre interrupted Santa’s well-earned rest after Christmas so he could help to present a Cornish charity with a late present of £1,600 following  festive fundraising in the centre during December. 

The centre raised money during Christmas late night shopping evenings in St Austell by asking visitors to the town centre to take a photo with Santa in the White River festive photobooth in return for making a donation to FLEET, which provides vital support to the emergency teams in Cornwall and installs life-saving medical equipment in community locations across the county. 

 White River Place price-matched every donation pound for pound and after more than £600 was generated by the photobooth, the centre added a further donation of its own to bring the total handed over to FLEET to an impressive total of £1,600.  

Santa stepped in to help Centre Manager Richard Hurst and Operations Manager Bill Holland present a cheque to Norman Trebilcock from FLEET. 

Richard Hurst, Manager of White River Place Shopping Centre, said: “FLEET is such an amazing charity helping our hard-working emergency services in Cornwall to save lives, as well as ensuring life-saving equipment is readily available in well-used community locations – including St Austell. 

“We are proud to be supporting this vital community charity to help towards the purchase of more medical equipment to benefit the county, and are very grateful to the generous people of St Austell who helped us to raise such a good sum of money by posing for photos with Santa over the Christmas period.   

 “A team of local people will be running the London Marathon this year to raise money for FLEET, so please go to the FLEET website and see how you can support them, as you never know when a de-fib unit may be needed, and they truly can make a difference” 

 FLEET (Front Line Emergency Equipment Trust) was set up in 1990 to help make life-saving medical equipment available to more communities in Cornwall, and to support the county’s emergency services. White River Place has supported FLEET in the past and in 2014, the centre teamed up with the charity to provide St Austell with its first Public Access Defibrillator (PAD), which can help restart the heart, and is now located in Aylmer Square. 

 Norman Trebilcock from FLEET said: “FLEET aims to ensure every community in the Duchy has a Public Access Defibrillator, and we have now installed more than 90 across Cornwall, and ordered up to a further 20 due to be installed in February. “Defibrillation is the only effective treatment when someone suffers a cardiac arrest, and currently only 5 in 100 people survive this – but where defibrillation occurs within three minutes, that increases in 70 in 100. 

 “FLEET is determined to improve the likelihood of early defibrillation occurring by ensuring there are public units available in communities across the county, and donations like this from White River Place and the people of St Austell make an enormous difference to our fundraising efforts to help pay for the cost of buying and installing more defibrillators in communities in Cornwall, as well as our work supporting the emergency services.” 

 For more information about FLEET, visit 

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