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International charity is now based in Shipston
9:21am Thursday 22nd July 2010 in News
MANY Shipston residents may not be aware of it but the town is now home to a major international charity, with supporters that include former James Bond star Sir Roger Moore.
The Arrhythmia Alliance, also known as the Heart Rhythm Charity, has offices in the High Street next to Toffee Apple.
The office is also home to a second charity, STARS, which was founded by Newbold-on-Stour based Trudie Lobban in 1993 after her youngest daughter Francesca was diagnosed with little-known heart rhythm disorder reflex anoxic seizures and she had nowhere to turn for help. Since then the charity has grown to become an international organisation, with a division in the US.
Both Mrs Lobban’s daughters, Charlotte and Francesca, who are now grown up, support their mother, who was instrumental in getting heart rhythm disorders included in the national standards for coronary care.
Mrs Lobban, who was awarded an MBE in last year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List, said: “After years of basing our charity in Newbold, we had expanded from just myself and my late husband to a staff of what is now 16 people.
“We were desperately in need of bigger premises but wanted to stay in the local area. Luckily we were able to find our new office here in the heart of Shipston.
“We’ve been able to contribute to the local community by co-ordinating the placement of life-saving defibrillators in the town and we’ve been involved with the high school to help students learn how to take their own pulses.
“We’re delighted to be a part of such a vibrant community here in Shipston.”
The charity has been at the forefront of a campaign to get people to check their pulse in order to detect any previously undetected heart rhythm problems, which affect more than two million people in the UK.