Housebuilder Barratt Developments North East is this week donating 19 defibrillators from its sites across the region to fight against coronavirus.

Donations are taking place on a national scale too, with over 400 defibrillators due to be donated.

The company is donating the defibrillators, usually used on its construction sites, to St John Ambulance.

The health and first aid charity is now on the frontline supporting people and communities through coronavirus, helping to take the strain from the NHS. It has started a nationwide appeal – called Take the Strain – to source desperately needed equipment to help it in the vital role it is playing, including 1,000 defibrillators.

Responding to the call for help, the country’s biggest housebuilder has committed to donating the defibrillators from all its sites – an estimated 400 worth more than £300,000. Teams from Barratt are urgently gathering up the defibrillators from their sites across the country so they can get them to where they are needed in the next few days.

As part of its response to support the fight against coronavirus, Barratt Developments has also donated £100,000 to the NHS Charities Together appeal. NHS Charities Together supports 250 NHS charities across the UK collectively, giving money every day to the NHS so that people can stay well for longer and get better faster. It also plays a key role in mobilising volunteers to support NHS staff and support mental health, community health and ambulance trusts.

These moves follow an earlier initiative last week from the housebuilder to donate personal protective items, including thousands of high quality FFP3 face masks and gloves, to local NHS hospitals and social care services across the country, including Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead, Newcastle.

Carl Sobolewski, Managing Director at Barratt Developments North East, said: “We are pleased to be able to donate this equipment where it is urgently needed – to help St John Ambulance, who are on the frontline, supporting the NHS and helping to save lives. We are seeing an amazing collective effort by businesses, communities and individuals in the fight against coronavirus and we want to play our part in that. We’re always keen to help to local community thrive, especially in times of such hardship like this.”

Barratt Developments made the decision to temporarily close all of its offices and construction sites in order to protect customers, employees and the public.