The launch of a project to raise awareness about life-saving equipment has been hailed as a success.

The Defibrillators Save Lives campaign, which aims to provide training and buy new kit, marked its official launch yesterday at 96 Shenley Road.

Demonstrations were given by Sara Walter Smith, from St John’s Ambulance, about how to use them, and Amanda Varnava, a consultant cardiologist from Watford Hospital, spoke about the vital work they do.

The project will also raise awareness of where defibrillators are located in Borehamwood.

Borehamwood Hillside councillor Pat Strack, who is helping coordinate the campaign, said: “It was very much a success. It is fantastic everybody has got behind it. About 50 people came. We were able to tell them where we know they are located, and they are coming back next week to have an opportunity to try the actual defibrillator.”

Cllr Strack said the Government has pledged to invest £1million into putting defibrillators into schools.

She added: “So our next step is to contact the schools. We hope we will be able to encourage them and get them to apply later in the year.”

So far, the campaign has received sponsorship from Spiritualist Church, Allum Hall, and two companies have come forward to sponsor new equipment.

The town council will also buy a new defibrillator for Fairway Hall, and Hertsmere Leisure will pay 50 per cent for one at 96 Community Hub.

Lawrence Stack, who came up with the idea for the campaign, last week told the Borehamwood Times: “I was in St John’s Ambulance for 20 years and feel very strongly about first aid issues. It has taken off all round, and people have become very interested.

“There is one in M&S and a couple of doctor surgeries, but I thought there should be one in the centre of town at least.

“I am hoping to get quite a few placed around the town, to help save people’s lives. At the moment there are not any.”

A second launch event will take place next Wednesday, July 22 at 96 Shenley Road.