Glasgow Botanics gets life-saving defibrillator

Publication date 17 September 2019

St John Scotland has this week helped one of Glasgow’s most popular visitor attractions provide a Public Access Defibrillator, which could save someone's life in an emergency.

A group of people pose with a defibrillator in front of a glass house

The Botanic Gardens, at the top of Byres Road in the West End of the city, officially unveiled the device this week.

Local group the Rotary Club of Kelvin raised the majority of funds for the device, while we provided additional help through our Community Defibrillator Project.

Alongside the unveiling of the defibrillator, St John Scotland volunteers offered CPR training to Rotary group members and Botanics staff, so they could familiarise themselves with the device and feel confident to step in should they ever need to.

John Rochead, President of the Rotary Club of Kelvin, said: “The Botanic Gardens attracts around 400,000 visitors per year but didn’t have a defibrillator on site. When we hear of those who suffer a cardiac arrest, we often say to ourselves how sad it is and pity we couldn't help. Well, we can and we are. This defibrillator is a small gift from the Rotary Club of Kelvin to the Botanic Gardens, available to all and we know it could make a huge difference in their recovery.”

Stuart Mathewson, volunteer with St John Scotland in Glasgow, said: “We’re working very hard to help provide Public Access Defibrillators across Glasgow and the surrounding areas. We know there was a lack of access to a defibrillator around the Botanic Gardens area so we were delighted to team up with the Rotary Club of Kelvin to provide this asset for the benefit of the community. We hope it never needs to be used, but it’s good to know it’s there should it ever be needed.”

The defibrillator has been sited on the public toilet block within the gardens, and is available from 7am until dusk all year round. It can be used by any member of the public in an emergency, with no prior training required.