Village phone boxes to house defibrillators in High Peak

Linda Page, Liz Stillo, Kieran Smallbone, and councillors Caroline Howe and John Kappes.
Linda Page, Liz Stillo, Kieran Smallbone, and councillors Caroline Howe and John Kappes.

Villagers are fundraising to get six potentially life-saving defibrillators installed in phone boxes across the Chinley area.

Linda Page is spearheading the project a year after her friend Ann Ashton sadly died of heart complications.

With support from residents and the Chinley, Buxworth and Brownside Community Association, it is hoped the devices will be fitted in the six phone boxes by the end of the year.

Mrs Page, who lives in Chinley, said: “These defibrillators could be life-saving for people in this area.

“They can be the difference between life and death when an ambulance is slow in getting to an area, for example.

“There’s a lot of support for the project and I’d like to thank everyone who has supported it and continues to support it.

“I wanted to do this in memory of Ann who sadly passed away a year ago this week,” she added.

The phone boxes have been adopted from BT for just £1 each.

So far, a number of fundraising events have secured enough money for up to four defibrillators.

More fundraising is set to take place to build up extra cash for the remaining devices.

Donations have come from the Rob Drabble Memorial Fund, High Peak Borough Council and resident Melissa Baker.

High Peak businessman Alex Bennett will help supply the defibrillators, which cost about £1,500 each.

Meanwhile, Kieran Smallbone is taking on the challenge of running 250 miles in five days to help fund the installation of one of the devices on Western Lane in Buxworth.

He will run from Stourton in Wiltshire, the first village where a defibrillator was installed in a decommissioned phone box, via four others and back to Western Lane.

Kieran, of Buxworth, said: “In an era of mobiles, public phones are rarely used.

“Only one call has been made from my local box in the past five years.

“These six boxes will now be put to a much better use.”

Speaking of his fundraising challenge, he added: “I’m running alone, carrying food and clothes with me.

“While I’m ready to embrace the loneliness of the long-distance runner, I’d be delighted to have company for any part of the run.”

For more information about Kieran’s challenge and to donate, visit www.defib.run.