Gloucester Rugby Club coach, Johan Ackermann and former Gloucester forward Simon Devereux, were the star attractions for a Rotary Saving Lives evening to highlight its work with defibrillators.
The Rotary Saving Lives Project is on a mission to make citizens in Gloucestershire have access to live-saving defibrillators.
And to mark the donation of the 50th defibrillator in the county as part of the initiative, a celebration was held at historic Hatherley Manor featuring the two rugby stars.
Johan was capped 13 times by South Africa as a lock forward and once played against Simon, who is now a BBC commentator.
The two players took part in a question and answer session while an old match between Gloucester and Northern Transvaal in which they featured was played to an audience of 210 guests.
Paramedics from the South West Ambulance Service NHS Foundation know that they have to travel along hundreds of miles of rural roads in the west country county, which can hamper an ambulance’s arrival.
Nearly 10 years ago, this problem was addressed by Kevin Dickens, the community responder officer for Gloucestershire, working in association with Rotary Cheltenham Cleve Vale – and the Rotary Saving Lives Project was set up.
The Rotary Saving Lives Project is on a mission to make citizens in Gloucestershire have access to live-saving defibrillators.”
The initiative set an objective of installing defibrillators in secondary schools and colleges that had sports centres.
It also focussed on facilities used by the general public throughout the county and which were located in semi-rural areas, where rapid access for ambulances and paramedics to emergencies might be hampered by geographic factors.
The project has been expanded by bringing in other Rotary clubs across Gloucestershire, looking to place defibrillators in clubs and societies, county council facilities, and rural communities.
More recently, special needs and primary schools have been included in the list of placements.