AN innovative scheme launched by Waitrose in Alderley Edge could see hundreds of free defibrillators donated throughout the UK.

The store teamed up with local businesses to provide a community defibrillator for the village.

Funds were raised for the defibrillator after businesses were invited to sponsor advertising panels installed above the pay and display machines in the store’s car park.

The Bubble Room, Fosters Fish and Chips and DLS Solicitors signed up to the scheme, and store manager Frank Young presented the defibrillator to Rachael Grantham of Alderley Edge Parish Council.

Mr Young said: “Waitrose were absolutely committed to this scheme that helps protect lives in our community.

“We were approached by LifePad Solutions who are an organisation committed to generating funding to see more defibrillators in place, and between us we came up with the idea of allowing sponsorship in the car park.

“The feedback from local businesses wanting to support the scheme was fantastic, and we are delighted to donate the defibrillator to the parish council. If the defibrillator saves one person’s life the whole scheme will have been worthwhile.”

Kevin Dryburgh of Lifepad Solutions said: “We cannot thank Waitrose enough for supporting this scheme.

“They have been so supportive of us since the idea was initially put to them, and hopefully this is something that could eventually be rolled out into all stores going forward.

Some 60,000 people die every year in the UK from cardiac arrest and many of those lives could have been saved if a defibrillator was close by.

“Every time another defibrillator is supplied by Lifepad and our supporters we are reducing those statistics a little bit more.

“Without Waitrose who knows how long Alderley Edge would have had to wait to get a defibrillator.”

Rachael Grantham from Alderley Edge Parish Council said: “The parish council has been desperate to obtain a defibrillator for some time, but they are very expensive and we did not have the funds in place.

“This initiative is amazing and would like to thank Waitrose so much for their help in allowing sponsorship on their site.”

Emma Mason from The Bubble Room said: “We are delighted to be one of the sponsors of the defibrillator.

“Everyone knows and uses Waitrose, and we didn’t think twice when the opportunity arose to brand the Bubble Room on the car park. To be part of a scheme that will help save lives locally is something to be very proud of.”