AN APPEAL has come one step closer to achieving its goal of making Gwent as "heart safe" as possible.

Twenty-two defibrillators will soon join 50 others dotted across Gwent, following a donation from the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board to Jack's Appeal ABUHB.

The appeal - called Jack's Appeal ABUHB - aims to have defibrillators placed in public access sites following the death of 15-year-old Jack Thomas who died suddenly of an undetected heart problem in 2012.

Phil Hill, who set up the campaign, welcomed the news, saying: "This is absolutely brilliant news for the whole of Gwent.

"We already have a number of defibrillators out there and one person has been saved. Having even more will be able to save even more lives.

"Many of the existing defibrillators had been donated by the health board in 2017. Some local communities had also become involved by raising money for them.

"We can now start to think strategically of where to place the new defibrillators."

Mr Hill added: "I would like to say thank you to everyone who has helped - including the health board and the Welsh Ambulance."

South Wales Argus:

June Thomas with a picture of her son Jack.

And Jack's mum, June Thomas, added: "This is wonderful news.

"Defibrillators save lives and we need more of them in areas. I have spent a few years now pushing for more defibrillators to be in communities.

"When I heard the news that more defibrillators are to be introduced I was really happy."

Recent medical evidence suggests that every minute a person remains in cardiac arrest without a defibrillator being used lessens their chance of survival by 10 per cent.

“The latest batch of defibrillators are not predominately open to schools as this is covered by another branch of Jack’s Appeal, however, if a school is willing to place the defibrillator where it can be accessed by the public, then they are welcome to apply.

If you would like to apply for a public access defibrillator, you can email Mr Hill on

You are asked to first ensure you have the necessary funds for the cabinet that will house the defibrillator, to ensure maximum efficiency in setting up the defibrillator for access, though.

Once the cabinet is up and the defibrillator housed, it’s exact location will be registered with WAST who will then be able to deploy appropriate 999-callers to the PAD site, having also been added to the website below by NHS Direct Wales.

Jacks Appeal ABUHB also continues to accept donations to re-supply PAD sites with new defibrillator pads and batteries (when expired).

If you would like to know where your nearest defibrillator is then you can do so by typing in your postcode here,