Heartening: The member for Clarence, Steve Cansdell, at the official opening of the Glenreagh Heart Start Shed. The program’s founder, Geoff Hicks, is to his left.
Heartening: The member for Clarence, Steve Cansdell, at the official opening of the Glenreagh Heart Start Shed. The program’s founder, Geoff Hicks, is to his left. Submitted

Big-hearted in the Orara Valley

THE people of the Orara Valley showed they had heart on Saturday with 100 people gathering at the Glenreagh School of Arts to celebrate the opening of the new Heart Start Shed.

The member for Clarence, Steve Cansdell, unveiled the official plaque, cut the ribbon and, on behalf of Heart Start, presented a certificate of thanks for Russell Crowe’s support to the Oscar winner’s parents, Alex and Jocelyn Crowe.

“Everyone recognises that Heart Start provides a great safety net for our small communities that do not have their own ambulance facilities,” Mr Cansdells aid. “It’s my great pleasure to be here today, supporting such a worthwhile organisation and I cannot speak highly enough of Geoff Hicks who initiated this scheme.”

Geoff Hicks, a retired Ambulance officer and Glenreagh resident, formed the first Heart Start group in 2001.

The idea quickly spread to neighbouring communities and the new shed will house the group’s purpose equipped vehicle and offers a space for the continuing training provided by the NSW Ambulance service.

Those present enjoyed a barbecue lunch and Clarence Valley mayor, Richie Williamson, helped Steve Cansdell cut the celebration cake.

“I offer my hearty congratulations to Glenreagh Heart Start on a magnificent achievement in the completion of this shed, ” Mr Williamson said.

“In speaking to people here today I know this dedicated group of volunteers brings a level of comfort to the Glenreagh community.”

The team is supported by the Ambulance Service of NSW, which assists with training, first-aid supplies and oxygen. However the fundraising is done by the team to supply and maintain much of their own equipment including the defibrillator, oxygen equipment, vehicle and the costs of administration including the upkeep of the new building and the telephone system that is the vital link to bring the team out to respond to an emergency.

For further information or to make a donation contact Geoff Hicks on 6649 2157.



REVEALED: Coffs Harbour's Most Influential list

premium_icon REVEALED: Coffs Harbour's Most Influential list

The final instalment of our 12-part series.

Coffs Harbour's Most Influential - Part 11

premium_icon Coffs Harbour's Most Influential - Part 11

The Coffs Coast Advocate lists the people effecting change

Mayor named Coffs' Most Influential

Mayor named Coffs' Most Influential

Results are in, mayor Denise Knight is the city's most influential.

Local Partners