A Manchester homeless charity has raised £1,000 to help buy lifesaving equipment for its Northern Quarter drop-in centre.

Coffee4Craig started a GoFundMe campaign after a rough sleeper suffered a cardiac arrest outside its premises on Thomas Street in the early hours of Monday 12 November.

The man survived due to the action of first aiders, but the experience prompted the organisation to ask the public for money so that a defibrillator could be purchased and stored on-site.

The total was reached on Friday 30 November with a £555 contribution from an anonymous donor.

Risha Lancaster, 49, who co-founded the charity with husband Hendrix, 39, after her brother Craig passed away while sleeping rough on the streets of Cardiff in 2013, said: “I think it will definitely save lives.

“Obviously we work with people who are quite highly at risk of becoming unwell or having cardiac arrests, so we really need a defibrillator that’s accessible for us.

“People are so generous, it’s brilliant. We’ll be able to serve the community now.”

According to leading Public Access Defibrillator website Heartsafe, there are 27 defibrillators within three miles of Manchester city centre, but only three are available for the public to use at any time during the day or night.

Defibrillation is the only effective treatment for sudden cardiac arrest – with survival rates dropping between seven and 10 per cent for every minute a patient goes untreated.

An AED cabinet similar to the type Coffee4Craig are hoping to purchase.

Ash Gomersall, 25, of North West First Aid, who co-ordinate medical support at Coffee4Craig’s drop-in centre, said: “The earlier you can get a defibrillator on to somebody, the much quicker and higher chance of survival there is.”

He added that the defibrillator would be made available to the public and the emergency services informed.

“When you ring 999, once the ambulance service have got your address, it will flag on the system where the nearest defib is.

“That will tell you where it is and how to access it.”

Jason, who has been sleeping rough on and off for 20 years, said: “It will be fantastic for the rough sleepers.

“We’ve lost quite a lot of people this year through the cold weather.”

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