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Heart health: Highgate gym launches charity fundraiser to install public defibrillators

PUBLISHED: 11:31 16 May 2019 | UPDATED: 12:49 16 May 2019

pH7 Gym co-founders Nick De Palma and James Hutchison. Picture: pH7

pH7 Gym co-founders Nick De Palma and James Hutchison. Picture: pH7

Archant

Staff at a Highgate gym are hoping to raise £4,500 this month to provide publicly accessible defibrillators to the community.

Staff put people through their fitness paces at pH7 gym to fundraise for defibrillators. Picture: pH7Staff put people through their fitness paces at pH7 gym to fundraise for defibrillators. Picture: pH7

James Hutchison and Nick Palma are the co-founders of pH7 in Archway Road, and were stunned to discover the nearest open-access defibrillators to them were in East Finchley and Kentish Town.

To remedy this, with their team at pH7 they are aiming to complete what they're calling the pH7 Heartburner challenge - and burn 153,000 calories on their gym machines during May. They said this would probably take about 200 hours.

James told this newspaper: "We went to a first aid update course and they were talking a lot about defibrillators, which got us wondering where our closest one was."

With that in mind, James and Nick used HeartSafe - which lists public-access defibrillators online - to investigate.

"We did some research and realised there wasn't one listed in Highgate. There could be others within private organisations, but it doesn't help if they're not publicly known about," James added.

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"So we are trying to raise between four and four and a half thousand pounds to put two defibrillators in Highgate - one up in the village and another down by Archway Road and the Tube station."

At the time of writing the team at the gym has raised £1,450 - almost a third of their target.

James and Nick chose 153,000 as their calorie target as that is how many people die of heart disease in the UK each year according the British Heart Foundation.

James added: "We are trying to get the message out to the community about the risks of heart disease, and also about what we are doing and to see if anyone was willing to make a donation."

The gym is working with the Highgate Society to find the best locations for the planned new defibrillators, which will be easy for untrained users in an emergency as they come with a system that gives vocal instructions when used.

The gym is running an open day on Sunday from 9 till 4.

To attend the open day email info@ph7gym.co.uk To donate, see justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ph7-heart-burner-charity-challenge

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