NEWPORT County AFC manager Michael Flynn unveiled a new, publicly-accessible defibrillator in Caerleon today.

The life-saving machine is housed in an old telephone box outside the village post office, and is accessible 24 hours a day. Residents in Caerleon are now being encouraged to attend classes to learn how to use defibrillators and perform CPR.

"This is a fabulous idea from the community," Mr Flynn said after cutting the ribbon on the phone box. "Everybody who made this happen deserves a huge pat on the back – it's such an important thing to have."


Mr Flynn said the new equipment was a cause close to him, given that his friend and former County boss Justin Edinburgh died in June after suffering cardiac arrest.

The idea for the new defibrillator came from members of Caerleon Christmas Committee (CCC), working with charities the British Heart Foundation and Community Heartbeat Trust – and CCC called on Santa Claus to pay an early visit to Caerleon for the unveiling, accompanied by some of his elves and a reindeer.

South Wales Argus:

Michael Flynn, manager of Newport County AFC, joins Santa at opening of the defibrillator kiosk in Caerleon. Picture:

Also present were volunteers from the British Heart Foundation, including Caerleon resident Sioned Thomas – who had just completed the Cardiff Half Marathon in memory of her late father.

CCC member Phil Sargeant said: "Being available to visitors and members of the community means the defibrillator can go a long way towards saving somebody's life or giving them every chance of surviving a critical heart attack."

The new defibrillator is part of wider initiative by CCC to encourage villagers to learn life-saving skills.

"We're running a series of training programmes so that people arent scared about how to do CPR or use a defibrillator," Mr Sargeant said. "We'll run as many training courses as we get demand for.

"At the moment we're doing courses once a month. If people keep coming forward, we'll keep running them."

Also in attendance at the event was Sioned Thomas, who ran the Cardiff Half Marathon just hours earlier in memory of her father Grahaeme Thomas.

South Wales Argus:

Sioned Thomas, who finished the Cardiff Half Marathon in memory of her father Grahaeme Thomas, who died earlier this year. Picture:

To find out more about the CPR and defibrillator training in Caerleon, email CCC at or visit the group's Facebook page.