Life-saving initiative wins annual prize

Our centres are much more than simply places people go to shop, they’re at the heart of communities providing a place where customers feel like they belong. As a business we want to create lasting prosperity for the communities we serve and each of our centres and employees plays a big part in doing that through various charitable initiatives across the country. Every year these initiatives are entered into the prestigious ‘Chairman’s Prize’ competition to win a prize that can help further support the project and organisations involved.

This year’s winner of the Chairman’s Prize was awarded to intu Merry Hill for their life-saving work with local charity organisation FastAid Black Country to donate defibrillators and create a network of 2,500 volunteers known as community first responders.

Defibrillators are life-saving pieces of equipment, used to provide an electric shock to patients in cardiac arrest. They’re the only treatment for sudden cardiac arrest and immediate treatment can increase a patient’s survival by up to 70 per cent if used within the first three minutes, so they can quite literally be the difference between life and death. 

FastAid Black Country, supported by the West Midlands Ambulance Service who provide the the kit and regular training, is run solely by volunteers and promotes the vital education of life support skills out in the community. It costs around £2,000 to provide a defibrillator kit to each first responder and despite the fantastic fundraising work FastAid delivers and generous donations, responders still have to share kit.


In partnership with the West Midlands Ambulance Service we aim to provide access to defibrillators to a population of more than two million people across the Black Country and Birmingham, which is why support from a place like intu Merry Hill is vital in helping us carry out our work. We’re a relatively small team but we train between 30-40 people in a month at a nationally recognised level in how to deliver basic life support and defibrillations.”

Paul Grove
Chair at FastAid Black Country

intu Merry Hill have been supporting FastAid by helping to raise funds and volunteering time to deliver training to almost 2,000 local people, as well as funding 14 additional defibrillators. These defibrillators have been installed in various locations across the region to give local people access to life-saving equipment.

The defibrillator programme is so important to us at intu. Our staff interact with thousands of customers daily and are regularly called upon for first aid. To know and feel confident in how to use a defibrillator in a life-threatening situation is really empowering.

Naomi Campbell
community development manager at intu Merry Hill 

"This project also helps educate people in the local community and puts the power in their hands, taking away some of the pressures on the emergency services. It’s also helped to really cement intu Merry Hill as part of the community and has bought the whole centre team together to help make a difference to an amazing local charity and to lives of so many people.”